The Indian Research Space Organisation is gearing up to launch a back-up IRNSS-1A satellite in a bid to maintain the regional navigation satellite system of India fully operational, a report has said. The IRNSS-1A is among the seven satellites in the constellation shambled by the failure of the atomic clocks on board.
K Sivan, Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, told The Hindu that the PSLV C39 mission will inject the new satellite called the IRNSS-1H into orbit. It will be launched in late July or early August.
In January, it was confirmed that all the three rubidium atomic clocks on board the IRNSS-1A satellite had stopped functioning after it developed a snag. Hence, it became important for ISRO to replace it immediately.
ISRO decided to launch one of the two spare satellites as efforts to restart the clocks failed.
About the Navigation Indian Constellation (NavIC)
The Navigation Indian Constellation (NavIC) comprises of seven satellites including the IRNSS-1A, which is the first among these. A multi-purpose satellite-based positioning system, the NavIC is touted as India’s alternative to the American GPS.
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NavlC is aimed at supporting vehicle tracking, fleet management, disaster management and mapping services besides terrestrial, marine and aerial navigation for India and its neighbouring countries.
With the placement of seventh satellite in the series in orbit in 2016, the system became operational.