India’s space agency ISRO on Saturday said it will launch a navigation satellite from its spaceport in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on April 12.
“The 43rd flight of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C41) will launch the Indian Remote Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS-1I) from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on April 12 at 4.04 a.m.,” the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement on its official website.
The IRNSS-1I is the eighth satellite to join the NavIC navigation satellite constellation in Earth’s polar orbit.
The launch a fortnight after ISRO launched communication satellite GSAT-6A on March 29 on board a heavy rocket (GSLV), but lost communication link with it on March 31 when it was on course to its intended slot in the geo-stationary orbit, about 36,000km above the Earth.
The Master Control Facility (MCF) of the space agency at Hassan in Karnataka has been trying its best to restore link with the 2,000kg satellite since April 1 but not succeeded till date.
The 8th navigation satellite IRNSS-1I will be a replacement in the NavIC constellation for the 1,425kg IRNSS-1H that failed to eject out of the PSLV rocket on August 31, 2017 to its intended orbit as its heat shield failed to separate even about 20 minutes after it was launched.
The rocket’s heat shield should have separated three minutes into the launch, but failed to.
After a 19-minute wait for the heat shield to separate, ISRO scientists had declared the mission unsuccessful.
The IRNSS-1H satellite was to have been slung into orbit at 507km above the Earth in the polar orbit.