The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched the IRNSS-1I navigation satellite from Sriharikota on Thursday to complete the NavIC satellite constellation which will provide India its own GPS system.

After a couple of failures, the successful launch of PSLV-C41 rocket carrying India’s eighth navigation satellite IRNSS-1I from Sriharikota at 4.04am on Thursday enlivened the atmosphere at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The successful launch came just 14 days after GSLV carrying GSAT-6A failed on March 29 leading to a loss of Rs 270 crore to the space agency. It is also seen as an achievement as this is the second attempt to send a navigation satellite of the IRNSS series which replace the first-sent IRNSS-1A to become the eighth satellite of the NavIC constellation.

Soon after the launch from Sathish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, the maiden PSLV space rocket made its 43rd flight and injected the IRNSS-1I into orbit 19 minutes after lift-off from the space centre. The 1425kg satellite developed indigenously by Bengaluru based Alpha Design Technologies, in collaboration with ISRO is now placed in its designated orbit after a precise injection. Talking about the success, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan described the mission as a success and congratulated scientists saying, “I am confident that the NavIC constellation will serve the underprivileged and unserved for years to come. I am really grateful to the entire ISRO family for having worked this hard and making IRNSS-1I a success.”

The NavIC will serve both military and civilian needs as it will be capable of broadcasting highly-accurate timing signals that a receiver can use to triangulate its location. The constellation will also provide signals in a space covering India and its surroundings, which could be utilised by using receivers on ground to determine position and time accurately. In fact, NavIC constellation has been placed into orbits in a way that it will provide accurate position information service to users extending to 1,500 km from India’s boundary.

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