Isro to launch navigation satellite on April 12

Isro to launch navigation satellite on April 12

Notwithstanding the setback suffered in GSAT-6A going off the radar, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) will launch its next satellite, IRNSS-1I, from the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota near here on April 12.

The IRNSS-1I, which is the eighth satellite to join the NavIC navigation satellite constellation, on board Isro's warhorse PSLV-C41, will blast off from the first launch pad of the space centre at 4 am on Thursday.

"India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its forty-third flight (PSLV-C41) in XL configuration will launch IRNSS-1I Satellite from First Launch Pad (FLP) of SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.

The 'XL' configuration of PSLV is used for the twentieth time. The IRNSS-1I is the eighth satellite to join the NavIC navigation satellite constellation," the space agency said in an official statement.

The latest launch will take place within 10 days of Isro suffering a severe setback with its communication satellite, GSAT-6A, losing contact with the base within 48 hours of its launch on March 29.

Though Isro scientists have been burning the midnight oil literally to retrieve the satellite, their efforts have not fructified so far.

The launch of IRNSS-1I is very crucial for Isro since its efforts to send a navigation satellite, IRNSS-1H in August last year ended in a failure after the heat shield covering the satellite failed to separate after the launch.

The new navigation satellite is expected to replace the IRNSS-1A, the first of the seven IRNSS satellites, launched in 2013.

Isro has ambitious plans for 2018 as it envisages launching 10 satellites by the end of the year, including the country's second lunar mission Chandrayaan-II.

Though the latest satellite, GSAT-6A going off the radar is a serious setback, Isro, sources said, is unperturbed and is making every effort to make the April 12 launch successful.

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