Just days after it lost contact with its communication satellite GSAT-6A over 48 hours after launch, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its navigation satellite IRNSS-1I on Thursday, Times of India reported.
The new satellite, which has joined the constellation of six operational ones, will help improve the accuracy of the system by replacing the faulty IRNSS-1A satellite in the constellation. IRNSS-1A had failed due to deficiencies in three atomic clocks that are required to provide accurate positional information to users on earth. The three clocks failed over a period of three months. The malfunctioning of these clocks made it difficult to measure precise locational data from the satellite.
This launch was ISRO’s second attempt to replace the satellite with faulty clocks. Earlier, ISRO had attempted to replace the faulty satellite by launching IRNSS-1H. The satellite failed after it got stuck inside the rocket's heat shield.
IRNSS-1I weighing 1,425 kg, has a life span of 10 years. The satellite was launched atop a PSLV-C41 rocket and reached the intended orbit in 19 minutes.
The satellite carries two types of payloads: navigation and ranging. The atomic clocks are part of the navigation payload of the satellite. The navigation payload transmits signals for the determination of position, velocity and time.
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