SRIHARIKOTA: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) brought Diwali a week early to Sriharikota, with the PSLV-C26 lighting up the night sky to make a visual spectacle of another otherwise spectacularly precise launch. The PSLV-C26 injected the IRNSS-1C navigational satellite into its intended orbit 20 minutes and 19 seconds after it blasted off from the First Launch Pad at Sriharikota.
The IRNSS-1C is the third navigational satellite launched by ISRO, and has put the space agency a mere swipe away from operationalising India’s own home-built navigational satellite system. ISRO would be able to provide navigational services through the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) once the fourth satellite of the family, IRNSS-1D, is put into space in December.
The IRNSS is intended as a constellation of seven navigational satellites that is aimed at reducing India’s reliance on foreign systems such as GPS and GLONASS for its navigational needs. The need for the system was felt after a failed test launch of a prominent missile in 2009, on account of the international navigational satellites systems going down at the time of the launch. The IRNSS also has implications in the defence, disaster management and marine and land navigation and ranging spheres. The IRNSS constellation would cover a region stretching around 1500 km around India’s borders.
ISRO’s intentions for the data and services to be provided by the IRNSS was made clear by SK Shivakumar, the director of ISRO Satellite Centre, who said it would be up to private players to translate the IRNSS constellation to real world services open to public on the ground. Other ISRO officials who spoke after the event indicated ISRO’s increasing cooperation with private industry and academia in the space domain.
Minister of State for the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh, ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan and other top officials of the space agency were among those who witnessed the launch from the Command Centre at Sriharikota.
PSLV-C26 was the 27 flight of ISRO’s workhorse PSLV launch platform
PLSV-C26 was seventh flight of the PSLV-XL, the most powerful variant of the PSLV
Previous missions of PSLV-XL: PSLV-C11 (Chandrayaan), PSLV-C17 (GSAT-12), PSLV-C19 (RISAT-1), PSLV-C22 (IRNSS-1A), PSLV-C25 (Mars Orbiter Mission) and PSLV-C24 (IRNSS-1B)
PSLV-C26 lifted off from First Launch Pad at Sriharikota at 1:32 am and injected IRNSS-1C into orbit after 20 minutes and 19 seconds
PSLV-C26 injected IRNSS-1C into sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (sub-GTO) with perigee (nearest point of orbit to Earth) of 282.5 km against targeted 284 km ± 5 km, and an apogee (farthest point of orbit from Earth) of 20670 km against targeted 20650 km ± 650 km
ISRO to perform one Orbit Raising Manoeuvre (ORM) at apogee and three at perigee to bring IRNSS-1C into its final Geostationary orbit at 83 degrees North lattitude
IRNSS-1C third of seven of the homemade Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS)
IRNSS-1C identical to IRNSS-1A and IRNSS-1B, which have been launched earlier
IRNSS-1C had lift-off mass of 1425.4 kg and a dry mass of 600 kg
Payloads aboard IRNSS-1C include navigational payload, ranging payload, high-accuracy Rubidium atomic clock and a Corner Cube Retro Reflector for laser ranging
Stands for Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System
IRNSS envisioned as constellation of seven satellites, all built by ISRO
RNSS aimed at reducing dependence on American GPS and Russian GLONASS systems
IRNSS-1D expected to be launched in December, with IRNSS-1E, IRNSS-1F and IRNSS-1G to follow
IRNSS will be able to start provision of navigation services once fourth satellite of the system is up and running
IRNSS envisioned after failure of high-profile missile test in 2009, thanks to non-availability of GPS
Experimental flight of GSLV-Mk III to be conducted in December
This will be ISRO’s first sub-orbital test flight
Apart from GSLV-Mk III launch vehicle itself, the experimental flight will also test human spaceflight module
It will be ISRO’s first sub-orbital flight
The human spaceflight module will be brought down into the Bay of Bengal, from where it is to be retrieved the very same day
GSLV-Mk III India’s attempt to increase its load capacity for launches
GSLV-Mk III envisioned to launch up to four tonnes
GSLV-Mk III based on scaled-up legacy systems already perfected by ISRO
Experimental flight will feature a dummy cryogenic engine of GSLV-Mk III; simulations will be carried out