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ISRO successfully launches third satellite of India’s IRNSS constellation

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ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C26, successfully launched IRNSS-1C, the third satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), in the early morning hours of today (October 16, 2014) at 0132 hours IST from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

This is the twenty seventh consecutively successful mission of PSLV. The ‘XL’ configuration of PSLV was used for this mission. Previously, the same configuration of the vehicle was successfully used six times.

IRNSS, being developed indigenously by ISRO, when complete, will put India into a selet club of nations, with their own satellite navigation satellites in space. If you do not know what a navigation satellite system is, it is the technical term, of your very popular GPS and GLONASS. IRNSS, is India’s own, 7-satellite strong, regional navigation satellite system, deployed specially to keep a close watch on the Asian region.

After the lift-off of PSLV-C26 with the ignition of the first stage, the important flight events, namely, stage and strap-on ignitions, heat-shield separation, stage and strap-on separations and satellite injection, took place as planned. After a flight of about 20 minutes 18 seconds, IRNSS-1C Satellite, weighing 1425 kg, was injected to an elliptical orbit of 282.56 km X 20,670 km, which is very close to the intended orbit.

After injection, the solar panels of IRNSS-1C were deployed automatically. ISRO’s Master Control Facility (at Hassan, Karnataka) assumed the control of the satellite. In the coming days, four orbit manoeuvres will be conducted from Master Control Facility to position the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit at 83 deg East longitude.

IRNSS-1C is the third of the seven satellites constituting the space segment of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. IRNSS-1A and IRNSS-1B, the first two satellites of the constellation, were successfully launched by PSLV on July 02, 2013 and April 04, 2014 respectively. Both IRNSS-1A and 1B are functioning satisfactorily from their designated geosynchronous orbital positions.

IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland. IRNSS would provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Services (SPS) – provided to all users – and Restricted Services (RS), provided to authorised users.

A number of ground stations responsible for the generation and transmission of navigation parameters, satellite control, satellite ranging and monitoring, etc., have been established in as many as 15 locations across the country.

In the coming months, the next satellite of this constellation, namely, IRNSS-1D, is scheduled to be launched by PSLV. The entire IRNSS constellation of seven satellites is planned to be completed by 2015.


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