The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully orbited its IRNSS 1I satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota today, forging ahead with its planned schedule of launches despite losing contact with the last satellite it launched, GSAT 6A, at the end of March.
According to ISRO, its master control facility at Hassan, Karnataka was able to make contact with and take control of the satellite shortly after launch. In the coming days, the satellite will perform orbital maneuvers to position it at 55 degrees east longitude in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO).
IRNSS 1I is the eighth addition to the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) — also known as Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) — an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1,500 km (approx. 930 miles) around the Indian mainland. The new satellite is meant to replace IRNSS 1A, as the latter’s atomic clocks malfunctioned in 2016, preventing it from measuring precise positional data.
Last August, ISRO attempted to replace the same satellite with IRNSS 1H, but that substitute never made it to orbit after the heat shields on the ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) prevented deployment.
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