Isro successfully launches IRNSS-1I navigation satellite
Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh: The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Thursday launched the IRNSS-1I navigation satellite from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. This the eighth such satellite to be a part of a constellation.
The PSLV-C41/IRNSS-1I mission blasted off at 4.04am from the first launchpad at the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre. It was a normal lift-off, Isro officials said.
The space agency’s workhorse, PSLV, injected the satellite into orbit 19 minutes after lift-off from the space centre here. It was the 41st successful mission of the 43 for PSLV.
The 1,425-kg satellite made by Bengaluru-headquartered Alpha Design Technologies, in collaboration with Isro, is the second satellite to be actively built by the private industry.
The first, IRNSS-1H, could not be put into space because of its failure in August last year.
Isro chairman K. Sivan described the mission as a success and congratulated scientists. IRNSS-1I was successfully placed in the designated orbit and it was a precision injection, he said. “I am confident that the NavIC constellation will serve the underprivileged and unserved for years to come. I am really grateful to the entire ISRO family for having worked this hard and making IRNSS-1I a success,” Sivan said.
Serving both military and civilian needs, the regional navigation satellite system, also called NavIC, will broadcast highly-accurate timing signals that a receiver can use to triangulate its location.
IRNSS-1I is expected to replace IRNSS-1A, the first of the seven navigation satellites, that was rendered ineffective after its three rubidium atomic clocks failed. The seven satellites are part of the NavIC navigation satellite constellation.
The launch is Isro’s second attempt at sending a replacement satellite. The constellation will also provide signals in a space covering India and its surroundings, which could be utilised by using receivers on ground to determine position and time accurately.
The previous mission of a PSLV carrying IRNSS-1H in August last year failed after the heat shield covering the satellite failed to separate. The IRNSS-1I mission takes place two weeks after the space agency launched GSAT-6A on board GSLV Mk-II.
Though the rocket placed GSAT-6A in orbit, the Isro lost communication with the satellite. Like its predecessors, IRNSS-1I carried two types of payloads: Navigation and Ranging.