With successful launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1I, ISRO completes India’s own GPS

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Launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1I :  With successful launch of PSLV-C41 rocket carrying India’s eighth navigation satellite IRNSS-1I from Sriharikota at 4.04am on Thursday , ISRO completes India’s own GPS.

The textbook launch of PSLV-C41 took place in four stages and the total time taken for the rocket to put the satellite into the intended orbit was 19 minutes.

IRNSS-1I carries two types of payloads: Navigation and Ranging. While the first transmits signals for determination of position, velocity and time, the latter facilitates determination of the satellite’s range. The atomic clocks are part of the navigation payload of the satellite, while the ranging payload consists of a C-band transponder, which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite and it also carries Corner Cube Retroreflectors for Laser ranging. Serving both military and civilian needs, NavIC satellites will broadcast highly-accurate timing signals that a receiver can use to triangulate its location. NavIC is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in the India as well as the region extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary.

IRNSS-1I weighing 1,425kg and with a life span of 10 years has become the eighth satellite to join the constellation of navigation satellites called NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) or popularly known as IRNSS or ‘desi’ GPS.

Why was the IRNSS-1I needed?

Navigation satellite IRNSS-1I has been launched to replace India’s first navigation satellite IRNSS-1A, whose three Rubidium atomic clocks had stopped working two years ago.

In August’17, ISRO had attempted to launch the IRNSS-1H to replace the IRNSS-1A. However, the mission failed as the IRNSS-1H got stuck in the heat shield of the PSLV carrying it. The IRNSS-1H is still stuck in the rocket, and will ultimately fall to the Earth.

Also read : SpaceX launches 14th cargo mission to ISS from Cape Canaveral

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