ISRO will launch a PSLV Thursday carrying a replacement satellite for the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) constellation. The IRNSS-1H satellite is due to lift off from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 19:00 local time (13:30 UTC).
The IRNSS-1H spacecraft is the eighth to be launched as part of India’s Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), or NavIC, program. One of two ground spares built for the seven-satellite constellation, IRNSS-1H is being pressed into service after the failure of all three atomic clocks aboard the first IRNSS satellite, IRNSS-1A.
The second ground spare, IRNSS-1I, is also expected to launch later this year. Two further ground spares are under construction. IRNSS satellites are built and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO.
IRNSS uses a constellation of seven spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit to provide a navigation service covering most of Asia, the Middle East, east Africa and parts of western Australia. The program gives India a dedicated navigation system, serving military and civilian applications, reducing the country’s reliance on systems controlled by foreign governments.
Satellite navigation relies on precision timing provided by several highly-accurate atomic clocks aboard each spacecraft – ...