ISRO’s navigational satellite launch failed: ISRO chief AS Kiran Kumar confirmed

ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle carrying navigation satellite IRNSS-1H lifts off from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, on August 31, 2017

India’s latest navigational satellite IRNSS 1H in its indigenous GPS system NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) failed due to a technical issue on Thursday. This satellite was supposed to serve as a replacement to the IRNSS-1A, all three of whose atomic clocks have failed.

A setback for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) mission, the satellite’s fourth stage in the launch mission did not go as planned. Nearly 20 minutes after satellite had a perfect lift off from the space center in Sriharikota.

The first three stages of the satellite launch were completed as intended. However, in the fourth state, the satellite did not deploy as something went wrong with its heat shield after the command for separation was initiated.

ISRO chief AS Kiran Kumar told that the mission was unsuccessful and said further analysis would be carried out.

“The C39 launch vehicle had a problem, heat shield has not separated. As a result of that, the satellite is inside the heat shield and was unable to get into orbit, we have to go through the detailed analysis to see what has happened,” he announced at the Mission Control Centre.

Addressing media after the failed launch, Kumar said it was fortunate that the PSLV-C39 had only one satellite onboard.

A successful launch would have ushered a new era in the country’s history of space exploration as, for the first time, the private sector has been actively involved in assembling and testing of a satellite. Earlier, the private sector’s role was limited only to supplying components.

The 1,425 kg satellite took off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 7 pm on Thursday. The IRNSS 1H was to augment the existing seven satellites in the NavIC system.

The seven satellites in the constellation were launched between 2013 and 2016, and the IRNSS 1H was necessitated because of “anomalies” in all three atomic clocks onboard IRNSS 1A, the first satellite in the system.

  Atomic clocks are used to provide time-stamped data. The onboard rubidium-based atomic clocks have a high degree of precision and do not lose or gain even a single second over millions of years.

However, the IRNSS 1H will not replace the IRNSS 1A satellite, which will now be used for providing messaging services.

The IRNSS 1H had navigation and ranging payloads on board and was set for a mission life of 10 years. Just like the other seven satellites in the NavIC, this satellite too was to orbit nearly 36,000 kms above the earth.

The indigenous GPS – NavIC – will provide reliable time-stamped navigational information to users and will have position accuracy better than 20 meters over India and surrounding regions extending to about 1,500 kms.

NavIC will reduce India’s dependency on foreign satellites for GPS data.

The system will be useful for any kind of navigation apps, taxi aggregator apps, location based operations like finding a hospital or shop, or even for the fishermen who will be able to access information on high-yield areas and the kind of weather to expect. It will help in disaster relief operations, among others.

With this navigational system, India will become a part of the elite group of countries that have their own navigational systems including the USA, Russia, China and Europe.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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