ISRO successfully puts IRNSS-1I into orbit to replace IRNSS-1A

ISRO successfully puts IRNSS-1I into orbit to replace IRNSS-1A

ISRO on Thursday successfully launched navigation satellite IRNSS-1I, by PSLV-C41 rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.

On concerns raised by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the navigation satellite system, the ISRO Chairman said with the launch of IRNSS-1I, the system was now put in place and the applications would have to be rolled out. ISRO also wants Indian firms to built and launch satellites on PSLV which is some kind of a workhorse to send small satellites from across the globe into space.

IRNSS-1I is the latest member of the 'Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC)' system.

NAVIC is created to be an Indian equivalent of America's Global Positioning System (GPS). 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. It is a constellation of seven satellites which helps to provide accurate positioning information to users in India and in regions extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary.

In August a year ago, ISRO attempted to send a replacement satellite but the mission of the PSLV carrying IRNSS-1H failed after the heat shield covering the satellite did not succeed in separating.

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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. It was a normal lift-off, ISRO officials were quoted as saying by PTI. It would have replaced the already defunct IRNSS-1A satellite whose three cesium clocks aren't working properly since last two years.

It added, "After separation, the solar panels of IRNSS-1I were deployed automatically". The main objective is to provide Reliable Position, Navigation and Timing services over India and its neighbourhood, to provide fairly good accuracy to the user.

According to ISRO, navigation with Indian Constellation is useful for fishermen to reach potential fishing areas. The fishermen can also get alert messages relating to bad weather, high waves or when they approach global maritime boundary line.

The navigation system is also helpful for railways in tracking trains and also giving an alert in the case of an unmanned level crossing. The Indian space agency said NavIC is also used for other applications like location-based services, survey and alignment, time synchronised services. The second stage's Vikas engine will carry the rocket out of the atmosphere, at which point the heat shield that protected the satellite through layers of air will separate to reduce weight, at 113 km. This will complete Phase 1 of the constellation, though India's plan is to increase the number of satellites in the constellation from 7 to 11 in the coming years.

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