India’s own GPS: Isro successfully launches IRNSS-1I navigation satellite

The rocket was launched from First Launch Pad of SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota

IRNSS-1I, Isro

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Thursday successfully launched the IRNSS-1I navigation satellite aboard the PSLV-C41.

The rocket was launched from First Launch Pad (FLP) of SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.

Isro Chairman K Sivan said: “I am extremely happy to announce that the PSLV has precisely injected the navigation satellite in the targetted orbit.”

Congratulating Team Isro for the successful launch, Prime minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Congratulations to our scientists on the successful launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1I by PSLV. This success will bring benefits of our space programme to the common man. Proud of team @isro!” | Today’s Paper

After a flight lasting about 19 minutes, the vehicle achieved a Sub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit with a perigee (nearest point to earth) of 281.5 km and an apogee (farthest point to earth) of 20,730 km inclined at an angle of 19.2 degree to the equator following which IRNSS-1I separated from PSLV.

After separation, the solar panels of IRNSS-1I were deployed automatically. Isro’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan, Karnataka, took over the control of the satellite.

The navigation satellite IRNSS-1I is part of Indian satellite navigation system ‘Navigation with Indian Constellation’ (NavIC) in a copy-book style. NavIC, also known as Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1,500 km around the Indian mainland. Simply put, NavIC (earlier the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System or IRNSS) is the Indian ‘GPS’.

A number of ground facilities responsible for IRNSS satellite ranging and monitoring, generation and transmission of navigation parameters, satellite control, network timing, etc., have been established in many locations across the country as part of NavIC.

Till now, PSLV has successfully launched 52 Indian satellites and 237 customer satellites from abroad. The 1,425 kg satellite was carried into space by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket’s ‘XL’ variant.

Sivan also said Isro was moving towards getting the rocket and satellite through the industry. Over the next eight months, Isro had planned nine launch missions, including the moon mission towards the end of the year, he added.