Of Coconuts and Rockets

There are many steps involved in getting a spacecraft ready for launch. But when launching from India on the PSLV, there is one extra step: the coconut ceremony.

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Breaking a coconut has much significance in the Hindu religion. It usually marks an auspicious occasion like weddings or festival, or the start of a new endeavor such as laying the foundation stone of house, construction of a bridge, or even the acquisition of a new car. It is a happy ritual, an offering to the gods for their blessing. Launching a rocket definitely is a coconut-worthy endeavor.

For a satellite launch, the coconut cracking is one of the mission managers’ favorite preparations. Each satellite manager cracks a coconut on a cinder block in front of the Integrated Payload Stack before it is transported from the fueling facility to the launch pad for integration onto the rocket. Blessings for a safe journey are shared as each coconut is cracked.

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The coconuts have been cracked and the spacecrafts have been integrated to the rocket. We are ready for launch!

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