India Launches Third Navigation Satellite, IRNSS-1C

October 16, 2014  - By
The third IRNSS satellite heads into orbit. Photo: ISRO

The third IRNSS satellite heads into orbit. Photo: ISRO

India has successfully launched IRNSS-1C, the third satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), early on October 16. The satellite was launched aboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C26 at 2002 GMT (4:02 p.m. EDT) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

After the lift-off of PSLV-C26 with the ignition of the first stage, the important flight events — namely, stage and strap-on ignitions, heat-shield separation, stage and strap-on separations and satellite injection — took place as planned, according to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). After a flight of about 20 minutes, 18 seconds, the IRNSS-1C satellite, weighing 1425 kg, was injected to an elliptical orbit of 282.56 km x 20,670 km, which is very close to the intended orbit. 

After injection, the solar panels of IRNSS-1C were deployed automatically. ISRO’s Master Control Facility (at Hassan, Karnataka) assumed the control of the satellite. In the coming days, four orbit maneuvers will be conducted from the Master Control Facility to position the satellite in the geostationary orbit at 83 degrees East longitude. 

IRNSS-1C is the third of the seven satellites constituting the space segment of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. IRNSS-1A and IRNSS-1B, the first two satellites of the constellation, were successfully launched by PSLV on July 02, 2013, and April 04, 2014, respectively. Both IRNSS-1A and 1B are functioning satisfactorily from their designated geosynchronous orbital positions. 

IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1,500 kilometers around the Indian mainland. IRNSS will provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Services (SPS) — provided to all users — and Restricted Services (RS), provided to authorized users.

A number of ground stations responsible for the generation and transmission of navigation parameters, satellite control, satellite ranging and monitoring, etc., have been established in as many as 15 locations across the country.

This is the 27th consecutively successful mission of the PSLV, which used the XL configuration of PSLV for the seventh time. Honorable Minister of State (Space) Jitendra Singh, witnessed the launch from the Mission Control Centre at SDSC, Sriharikota.

The next satellite of this constellation, IRNSS-1D, is scheduled to be launched by PSLV in the coming months. The entire IRNSS constellation of seven satellites is planned to be completed by 2015.

Below is a slideshow with images from the launch preparations and launch.