Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched the IRNSS-1L in the orbit on Thursday morning at 4:04 am (April 12) aboard PSLV C41 rocket from the Satish Dhawan Spaceport in Sriharikota. The IRNSS-1L is ninth in the NavIC satellite constellation that will replace the faulty IRNSS-1A satellite after it developed faults in three cesium clocks from the last two years.
For those who are living under a rock, ISRO attempted to replace IRNSS-1A satellite with the IRNSS-1H satellite that was launched last year in August. However, it developed issues and thus the launch wasn’t successful and resulted in losing the satellite as well. IRNSS-1L is the 9th satellite in the navigation satellite by Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). The 1,425 kg satellite will provide navigation services and it is dubbed as India’s very own Global Positioning System (GPS). It will provide navigation, the time stamp of people and objects as well as provide accurate information about the position as well. It was developed by a team of scientists and engineers from six Indian companies headed by the Alpha Design Technologies Limited which is based in Bengaluru.
IRNSS-1L is developed to function for a period of 10 years wherein the scientists will boost its orbit, maneuver it accordingly. It will be orbiting the Earth in a sub-geosynchronous oval orbit approximately 281.5km x 20,730 km from the center of the Earth on a temporary basis. Later, the scientists will fire its ingenious propulsion system to boost its orbit until it reaches its destined altitude which is at 36,000km.
As aforementioned, this is the 9th launch in the IRNSS fleet, however, it is the 8th satellite in the constellation after its newly launched IRNSS-1H back in August developed problems and finally, it resulted in losing it after all. It would have replaced the already defunct IRNSS-1A satellite whose three cesium clocks aren’t working properly since last two years. Talking about April 12 launch, it was developed as a backup if ever required and thus, it will launch on the PSLV-C41 rocket so that it can complete the constellation.
ISRO’s Chairman Dr. K. Sivan asserted that both IRNSS-1H and IRNSS-1L are developed by a consortium of multiple companies which is what ISRO is looking forward to following in all its future missions. He also gave bits of information on GSAT-6A communication satellite that was launched on March 29, however, it lost contact with the mission control and which hasn’t been established as of now. He added that even after these two major setbacks, ISRO will continue to work and prosper by tackling challenges and completing its missions.