On august 31,2017, India’s ISRO failed in its attempt to launch its eighth regional navigation satellite (IRNSS-1H).ISRO chief A.S. Kiran Kumar told, “There was no problem in any of the stages. But the heat shield has to separate. And once that happens the satellite gets into the orbit. It got separated internally. But it’s enclosed within the heat shield in the fourth stage.”As a result, the satellite got stuck in the fourth stage of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle–PSLV-C39.
ABOUT IRNSS-1H: –
- IRNSS-1H was sent to space to back up and replace the functions of India’s first navigation satellite IRNSS-1A which was launched four years back.
- Indian Space Research Organisation had to quickly get two back-ups ready when all three rubidium atomic clocks on 1A failed around mid-2016.
ISRO’S IRNSS ( NavIC ) programme : –
i.The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by India on par with US-based GPS.
ii.ISRO had earlier launched seven satellites – IRNSS-1G on April 28, 2016, IRNSS-1F (March 10, 2016), IRNSS-1E (January 20, 2016), IRNSS-1D (March 28, 2015), IRNSS-1C (October 16, 2014), IRNSS-1B (April 4, 2014) and IRNSS-1A on July 1, 2013.
iii.Russia has ‘Glonass‘ while ‘Galileo‘ is by Europe. These satellites offer services like terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, navigation aide for hikers and travellers, visual and voice navigation for drivers.
iv.This system was namedas ‘NavIC’ (Navigation with Indian Constellation) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
v.The NavIC system has many uses including for fishermen venturing into sea, guiding merchant ships to navigate, tracking of railway movement and alerting road users near unmanned level crossings.
The system was developed partly because access to foreign government-controlled global navigation satellite systems is not guaranteed in hostile situations, as happened to the Indian military in 1999 when it was dependent on the American Global Positioning System (GPS) during the Kargil War. The Indian government approved the project in May 2006.