ISRO IRNSS-1A navigation satellite launch on Thursday

Isro IRNSS-1I

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the IRNSS-II navigation satellite, the eighth such satellite to be a part of a constellation, from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.

The navigation satellite was launched by PSLV-C41. The first IRNSS satellite that had been launched was mired in technical difficulties when the atomic clocks, that were set in it, suddenly halted, which caused the satellite to fail.

The IRNSS-1I (Regional Navigation Satellite System-1I) will join the constellation of seven satellites that form an autonomous regional navigation satellite system called NavIC, which provides critical foolproof satellite-based navigation signals for both civilian and military purposes.

The IRNSS is similar to those of other countries, like the US' Global Position System (GPS), the Russian Glonass, China's BeiDou and Europe's Galileo. With a lift-off mass of 1425 kg like all of its predecessors, it carries an L5 and S-band navigation payload with Rubidium Atomic Clocks on board. The previous one was lost in August a year ago, when the heat shield of the rocket failed to open and let out the spacecraft.

The PSLV took off at 2234 GMT (6:34 p.m. EDT) with a rush of flame from a solid-fueled core motor and four strap-on solid rocket boosters.

Explaining the reason for choosing this time slot, former Isro Satellite Centre director TK Alex said, "Different satellites have to be put in different locations".

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This is the second satellite the private team has built for Isro.

After separation, the solar panels of IRNSS-1I were deployed automatically.

Around 19 minutes 20 seconds after the lift-off, the rocket will sling IRNSS-1L at an altitude of around 507 km. NavIC will provide a standard positioning service to all users, including mobile service providers, with a position accuracy of five meters.

According to ISRO, navigation with Indian Constellation is useful for fishermen to reach potential fishing areas.

People can use these services which are provided through a software application on a smart phone. The former is for all users while the latter is an encrypted service for only authorised users. In the road transport sector, NavIC helps commuters to traverse distances and also enable transport operators to track their vehicles. An inquiry later found an explosive had failed to detonate fully, to break the latch of the heat case or conical top of the PSLV, where satellites are housed as they are carried into space.

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