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India launches back-up navigation satellite
PSLV lift-off on 12th April. © ISRO

India launches back-up navigation satellite

ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C41 successfully launched the 1,425kg IRNSS-1I Navigation Satellite on 12th April, filling a gap in India's regional navigation constellation.

In its forty-third flight, ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C41 successfully launched the 1,425kg IRNSS-1I Navigation Satellite on 12th April from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.

PSLV-C41 lifted off at 0404 hrs (4:04 am) IST, as planned, from the First Launch Pad. After a flight lasting about 19 minutes, the vehicle achieved a Sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit with a perigee of 281.5km and an apogee of 20,730km inclined at an angle of 19.2° to the equator.

Orbit manoeuvres are being performed from ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan, Karnataka to position the satellite at 55° East longitude in the planned Geosynchronous Orbit with an inclination of 29° to the equator.

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

The IRNSS constellation nominally comprises seven satellites — three in geostationary orbit and two pairs in geosynchronous orbits inclined at 29°. The satellites were launched in 2013-2016. The latest launch constitutes the second attempt to launch a backup satellite for IRNSS-1A, which developed problems with its atomic clocks in the second half of 2016. The first replacement satellite, INRSS-H, failed to reach orbit in August 2017.

PSLV has successfully launched 52 Indian satellites to date, along with 237 satellites for foreign customers.

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