PSLV C-39 Fails To Place Navigation Satellite Into Orbit

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Update: The PSLV C-39 rocket failed to place the ‘IRNSS-1H’ satellite into orbit.

The head shield failed to separate as planned and as a result of which the satellite could not be placed into its intended orbit. However, the rest of the vehicle performed flawlessly.

ISRO Chairman in his address to the media said that a failure analysis process would be carried out to ascertain the reason for the failure.

New Delhi: India launches its eighth navigation satellite IRNSS-1H at 6:59 pm on 31 August from Sriharikota. The 1,425 kg satellite part of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) – will be carried by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket XL variant, said an official of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). What makes the launch more significant is that this is the first navigation satellite built by the private sector.

A group of companies, led by the Bengaluru-based defence equipment supplier Alpha Design Technologies, were behind the building of the IRSS-1H, and they were assisted by ISRO scientists.

The involvement of private companies in this satellite sector is expected to become bigger in the coming years. The 29-hour countdown for the launch of the satellite began at 2 pm on Wednesday at the Sriharikota rocket port.

This will be the eighth IRNSS satellite and will be a replacement for IRNSS-1A as its rubidium atomic clocks have failed. The atomic clocks are important to provide the accurate positional data.

Simiply put, the IRNSS or NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) is similar to the US-owned GPS.The Rs 1,420-crore Indian satellite navigation system NavIC consists of nine satellites – seven in orbit and two as substitutes. One of the substitutes is the IRNSS-1H.

Like its other IRNSS predecessors, IRNSS-1H also carries two types of payloads – navigation payload and ranging payload.

According to ISRO, NavIC is useful for fishermen to reach the potential fishing area. The fishermen can also get alert messages relating to bad weather, high waves or when they approach international maritime boundary line.

These services are provided through a software application on a smartphone. The Indian space agency also said NavIC is useful for merchant ships in their navigation and also during search and rescue operations. In the road transport sector, NavIC helps commuters to traverse distances and also enable transport operators to track their vehicles.

According to ISRO, the navigation system is also helpful for railways in tracking trains and also giving an alert in the case of 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. Starting July 2013, the Indian space agency has launched seven navigation satellites, with the last one launched on 28 April 2016. Each satellite has a lifespan of 10 years.

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