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ISRO's PSLV Successfully Launches IRNSS-1I Navigation Satellite From Sriharikota Days After Big Jolt: 10 Points

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday launched the IRNSS-1I navigation satellite, the eighth such satellite to be a part of a constellation, from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

PSLV-C41/IRNSS-1I Mission blasted off at 4.04 am from the first launchpad at the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre. ISRO officials called it a normal lift-off. IRNSS-1I is expected to replace IRNSS-1A, the first of the seven navigation satellites, that was rendered ineffective after its three rubidium atomic clocks failed. The seven satellites are part of the NavIC navigation satellite constellation.

The launch is ISRO’s second attempt at sending a replacement satellite.

The previous mission of a PSLV carrying IRNSS-1H in August last year failed after the heat shield covering the satellite failed to separate.

The IRNSS-1I mission takes place two weeks after the space agency launched GSAT-6A on board GSLV Mk-II. Though the rocket placed GSAT-6A in orbit, the ISRO lost communication with the satellite within two days.

After the successful launch, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said: “I am extremely happy to announce that the PSLV has precisely injected the navigation satellite in the targeted orbit.”

The Rs. 1,420 crore Indian satellite navigation system – Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System now called NavIC – consists of nine satellites, seven in orbit and two as substitutes.

The 1,425 kg IRNSS-1I will be the second satellite sent up as replacement for IRNSS-1A and the ninth of the IRNSS satellite series.

After 19 minutes, 20 seconds following the lift-off, the rocket will sling IRNSS-1I at an altitude of around 507 km. The launch is the 41st successful launch out of 43.

Each satellite has a life span of 10 years.

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