Early Diwali at Sriharikota as ISRO Launches Third Indian Navigational Satellite

Published: 16th October 2014 05:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th October 2014 06:52 PM   |  A+A-


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.

ISRO Factbox:


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

Also Read:

Busy Send-off on the Cards for ISRO Chief? 

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