Daily Archive: April 12, 2018

ISRO’s PSLV Successfully Launches IRNSS-1I Navigation Satellite From Sriharikota Days After Big Jolt: 10 Points

New Delhi:

While most of India slept, ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV blasted off into space from Sriharikota off the coast of Andhra Pradesh at 4:04 am today, carrying IRNSS-1I, the eighth satellite for India’s homegrown global positioning system. The successful launch came just 14 days after the much larger Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle or GSLV rocket launch on March 29 spelled a setback for the space agency as the Rs 270 crore GSAT 6A that it was carrying was lost to a systems failure. Thursday’s launch created history for ISRO, becoming the fastest back-to-back launch in the agency’s history.

Here are 10 facts on the PSLV’s IRNSS-1I launch:

  1. ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organisation, declared the 43rd mission of the PSLV a success after it placed the IRNSS 1I satellite into a precise orbit. The last satellite launch for the satellite-aided navigation NAVIC programme by the PSLV had failed in August 2017.
  2. After the launch, ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan said, "I am extremely happy to announce that the 8th navigation satellite of India was launched successfully into the NAVIC constellation. We are moving towards a major goal. This NAVIC constellation will create history."
  3. India needs seven operational satellites for providing failsafe satellite based navigation. The 1,425-kg satellite was made by the Bengaluru-based Alpha Design Technologies, in collaboration with ISRO.
  4. The first satellite in the network, IRNSS 1A, ran into trouble when the atomic clocks onboard the satellite failed one after another. Last year, on August 31, ISRO launched a replacement satellite – IRNSS 1H. This time, the rocket failed and the satellite was never placed into orbit. This forced the space agency to launch the IRNSS 1I as a replacement.
  5. The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) has the operational name of NAVIC, an acronym for "Navigation with Indian Constellation". The system is designed to be equivalent to the Global Positioning System or GPS which is owned by the US.
  6. The NAVIC system is expected to provide location tracking within 20 meters of actual positions, especially in the 1,500 km area around the country’s borders – a zone where the maximum threat perception lies. The satellite will have both civilian and military uses.
  7. The need for an indigenous GPS was felt soon after the Kargil conflict, when India desperately needed the services of a satellite-based navigation system, but did not have one of its own. The American system was not available at the time.
  8. Only the US and Russia currently have fully operational GPS systems. China and Europe are still in the process of deploying their full systems. A satellite-based navigation system under one’s control and command is considered a deep strategic asset.
  9. The launch of the satellite came two weeks after its GSAST 6A failure. Sources in ISRO have hinted that a "power systems failure" led to the satellite going AWOL.
  10. A top satellite expert from ISRO confirmed to NDTV that the GSAT 6Awas a heavyweight communications satellite and the relatively lightweight IRNSS 1 used a "very different power system", which gave the space agency confidence to march ahead with the launch.
  11. Source: NDTV