ISRO successfully launches replacement satellite days after first failure


Addressing scientists after the successful launch of the IRNSS-1I navigation satellite by the workhorse launch vehicle PSLV-C41 from the first launch pad, the second mission in a gap of two weeks, he said the space agency was gearing up for a lot more launches in the next eight months this year.

The satellite was launched by PSLV-C41 and was placed in the designated orbit 19 minutes after the lift-off. Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle or GSLV rocket launch on March 29, 2018 made a setback for the space agency as the Rs. 270 crore GSAT 6A that it was carrying was lost due to systems failure. The satellite is part of the constellation of seven NavIC navigation satellite.

India had started the process of developing its own indigenous navigation satellite system after the USA refused to provide GPS data to the Indian armed forces during the Kargil war with Pakistan in 1999. It will provide navigation, the time stamp of people and objects as well as provide accurate information about the position as well. The carrier has four stages, alternating between solid and liquid fuels, stacked on top of each other.

K. Sivan, ISRO's chairman, said the launch of the IRNSS 1I satellite completes the first phase of the Indian navigation system.

The navigation payload of IRNSS-1I transmits signals for the determination of position, velocity and time and operated in the L5-band and S-band.

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According to ISRO, navigation with Indian Constellation is useful for fishermen to reach potential fishing areas. These services are provided through a software application on a smart phone. In the road transport sector, NavIC helps commuters to traverse distances and also enable transport operators to track their vehicles.

The navigation system is also helpful for railways in tracking trains and also giving an alert in the case of an unmanned level crossing.

On the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) being critical of NavIC still not being fully operational, after more than 10 years of its launch, he said with the launch of IRNSS-1I, the system was now put in place and the applications would have to be rolled out. IRNSS provides two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Services provided to all users and Restricted Services, provided to authorised users. As a result, the IRNSS-1H remained housed inside the heat shield.

The agency is building expertise among private firms to meet its need of 70 large communication and earth observation satellites in the next five years and tap a global satellite market explosion.