News Item

Launch failure for IRNSS

The Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) did not gain a new satellite today, as the launch failed.

Our original news article below predicted that a new spacecraft would be joining the IRNSS constellation today, 31 August. But, after launch, the payload heat-shield/fairing remained attached to the rocket, trapping the satellite and preventing it releasing and manoeuvring into its inclined geosynchronous orbit.

Details of the unsuccessful launch are at the Spaceflight Now link below . .

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The launch of PSLV-C39/IRNSS-1H should take place on 31 August at 1900 India Standard Time (IST - 1330 UTC) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), Sriharikota.

RNSS-1H will be laedunched into a sub-geosynchronous transfer orbit (sub-GTO) with a 284 km perigee and 20,650 km apogee and inclination of 19.2ยบ. After injection into this preliminary orbit, the 2 solar panels of IRNSS-1H should be automatically deployed and the orbit raised using the liquid apogee motor (LAM) of the satellite - finally placing it in its designated slot in the inclined geosynchronous orbit.

This satellite will replace the constellation's first spacecraft, IRNSS-1A, whose 3 rubidium clocks have stopped working. IRNSS-1A now will be used for messaging services only. Atomic clock problems have also plagued other navigation satellite systems, including Galileo.

IRNSS details can be found at the ISRO link below . .

  • 31 August 2017
  • RIN

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