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ISRO ready to launch fifth regional navigation satellite

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Sriharikota: India is reading to launch its fifth regional navigation satellite on Wednesday from its spaceport here, a senior space agency official said on Tuesday.

“The countdown (T-48) is going on smoothly since it was started on Monday at 09:30am. The launch authorisation board will take the final call on early morning tomorrow (Thursday) for the final countdown (T-10),” Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) satellite director M. Annadurai told IANS.

The 320-tonne 44-metre rocket (PSLV-C31) will lift-off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan space centre here at 9.31 a.m. and deploy the 1,425 kg fifth navigation satellite into as sub-geosynchronous orbit 19 minutes and 20 seconds later at an altitude of 503 km from above the earth.

“Besides checking all launch systems and the satellite onboard, the rocket’s tanks are being filled with liquid fuel in all its four stages,” Annadurai said.

As part of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), comprising seven spacecraft, the fifth satellite (IRNSS-1E) will also aid terrestrial, air and maritime transport, besides giving standard positioning services at pat with global positioning system to all users.

The navigation system will also be used for disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, integration with mobile phones, mapping and geodetic data capture, visual and voice navigation for drivers and others.

Till date India has launched four regional navigational satellites (IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C and ID) as part of a constellation of seven satellites to provide accurate position information service to users across the country and the region, extending up to an area of 1,500 km.

“The system will provide two types of services – standard positioning services to all users and restricted services to authorized users,” Annadurai added.

Each satellite costs about Rs.150 crore and the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV-XL) version rocket Rs.130 crore.

The constellation is planned to be completed this year, with the launch of sixth and seventh satellites in February and March.

The first satellite IRNSS-1A was launched in July 2013, the second IRNSS-1B in April 2014, the third on October 2014 and the fourth on March 2015.

The satellite’s payload will transmit navigation service signals to users, operating in L5-band and S-band. An accurate rubidium atomic clock is part of the navigation payload.

The spacecraft is also carrying corner cube retro reflectors for laser ranging.

The satellite has 12-year lifespan. (IANS)

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Chandrayan-2 Expected to be Launched in Early 2019

ISRO would have two missions Chandrayan-2 by GSLV Mark 3 and the PSLV P45 launching RA-SAT 2B next year.

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Chandrayaan-2 to be launched in January-March window in 2019 Pixabay
Chandrayaan-2 to be launched in January-March window in 2019 Pixabay

India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 will now be launched in the January-March window in 2019 instead of later this year as the design was changed to enable it land on the lunar surface, a top ISRO official said here today.

“We have planned to launch Chandrayaan mission in January 3. We are fixing with that (date) and targeting that. But that is an open window. We can go up to March also. As we are coming closer (the date), we may miss the target,” he said.

The reason for postponing the mission was that there were certain important changes made in the design so that it could easily land on the lunar surface, he said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a function, where bust of Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the architect of the Indian space mission, was unveiled.

Asked why the weight of Chandrayaan-2 was increased by 600 kg, he said ISRO noticed during experiments that after the moon lander was ejected, the satellite would shake. So they decided that the design modification was required for landing and mass has to be increased.

Chandrayan 2
The reason for postponing the mission was that there were certain important changes made in the design so that it could easily land. Flickr Commons

“We also realised that the orbiter required more phases, which required more fuel,” he told reporters.

On the space agency’s future missions, Sivan said ISRO also plans to launch 50 satellites in the next three years.

the space agency would launch 22 satellites in 2019, the maximum in any year in the history of ISRO, he said.

“Next year from February to December we plan to have 22 missions with almost two missions per month, which is a very important activity. This tight schedule of programmes we are doing for the first time.

We have set a target.We may not be able achieve but we are targeting it. So many missions in a year is a huge target for the first time in the history of ISRO,” Sivan said.

The remaining months of 2018 would also be very hectic for ISRO as it plans to launch at least two missions every month, he said.

“Our next mission is PSLV C42, which will launch NOVASAT and S1-4. These two satellites are commercial satellites from the U.K.It is a commercial mission and is planned in September. Subsequently we have two missions each month,” the ISRO chief said.

ISRO
India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 will now be launched in the January-March window in 2019. Flickr

In October this year ISRO would launch GSAT29 for the Digital India programme and hyper spectrum imaging satellites along with 30 commercial satellites, Sivan said.

The following month GSAT-7A will be launched, while in December there would be two missions,GSLV-F11 launching AMISAT and GSAT-31, a replacement for INSAT 4CR, whose life will get over by January, he said.

ISRO would have two missions Chandrayan-2 by GSLV Mark 3 and the PSLV P45 launching RA-SAT 2B next year.

The focus area of these launches was to enhance the communication so that rural India gets high bandwidth data connectivity, somewhere between 80 GBPS to 100 GBPS, he said.

Also Read: A Dozen New Moons Found Orbiting Jupiter

Asked about GSAT 6A, with which communication had been lost after its launch in March 31 this year, he said ISRO has not given up hope and was still trying to establish radar contact with the satellite.

“We have not given up hope. We will wait till a year,” he said when asked how much time ISRO would take to announce that the GSAT 6A was a failed mission. (IANS)