Isro will launch either Cartosat-2 series remote sensing satellite or the replacement satellite IRNSS-1I by Nov or Dec. On Aug 31, Isro’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C39) couldn’t deliver the 1.4-tonne IRNSS-1H in the geo-synchronous orbit as its heat shield didn’t get separated.
After suffering a setback because of the unsuccessful launch of its navigation satellite IRNSS-1H+ on August 31, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) will resume satellite launches by December.
The space agency will schedule its next launch mission after a fact-finding committee, appointed to find the exact cause of the glitch+ in the heat separation mechanism of PSLV C39 rocket that carried navigation satellite IRNSS-1H, submits its report “soon”.
Isro chairman A S Kiran Kumar said, “We will resume launches by November or December.”
Echoing the chairman, Dr K Sivan, director of Thiruvananthapuram-based Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) told TOI, “We will launch either Cartosat-2 series remote sensing satellite or the replacement satellite IRNSS-1I by November or December. We are yet to finalise which of the two satellites will be launched first.”
Dr Sivan said the probe committee was “supposed to submit the report by 10th of this month”. “But the committee wants some more time as it wants to review some more results (flight data) before coming to any conclusion. We are expecting the report next week,” he said.
When asked if the IRNSS-1H mission was insured, a source in Isro told TOI, “The missions are launched from the government’s money. As these (rockets and satellites) are government properties, they are not insured.”
On August 31, Isro’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C39) could not deliver the 1.4-tonne IRNSS-1H in the geo-synchronous orbit as its heat shield did not get separated minutes after the rocket’s lift-off from the Sriharikota launchpad. The satellite, which got stuck in the heat shield, is currently moving in outer space and is expected to enter the earth’s atmosphere within two months and some parts of it are likely to fall in the Pacific Ocean.
The Rs 1,420-crore NavIC consists of nine satellites — seven in orbit and two as substitutes (IRNSS-1H and IRNSS-1I). Last year, three atomic clocks, meant to provide accurate locational data, of first navigation satellite IRNSS-1A stopped working. Isro, therefore, planned to launch IRNSS-1H on August 31 to replace IRNSS-1A. After the failed launch of IRNSS-1H, Isro is now planning to launch IRNSS-1I at the earliest. The first navsat IRNSS-1A is currently being used only for messaging activity. The Isro chairman had, however, maintained the stopping of atomic clocks of IRNSS-1A had not affected the functioning of the navigation system and it is very much operationalized.