Indigenous navigation satellite set to fly on July 1

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BANGALORE, June 14: Indian Space Research Organisation has replaced a faulty component in the PSLV-C22 rocket and rescheduled the flight of the IRNSS-1A satellite, India’s first regional navigation satellite, on it for 11:43 p.m. on July 1, according to an informed ISRO official.

The 1450-kg IRNSS-1A was earlier set to be sent up on June 12.

It forms the country’s new and third category of multi-use spacecraft-navigation along with the older communication and remote-sensing (or earth observation) satellites.

It will offer motion and location information over the sub-continent just as the popular U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, has done across the world for several years.

ISRO says data from the indigenous system will be superior to information coming from GPS.

The ISRO official told The Hindu that scientists replaced the defective part, an actuator that helps in the motion of the launcher, in the last few days. A catastrophe has been averted for the tried and tested PSLV, the official added.

They noticed the problem with the actuator — which helps in the motion of the launcher — late last month during routine electric checks while assembling the second stage at the Sriharikota launch site. On June 1, ISRO said it would be late by a fortnight.

The scientists have resumed integrating the vehicle; details of the problem with the actuator would be known in subsequent days, the official said.

Over the next days the four stages of the vehicle will be put together; the spacecraft mated with it at the top bay and finally fuel will be filled in the system a couple of days before flight.

IRNSS-1A is one of the seven regional navigation satellites that will guide civil and military services on position of people or objects in the coming years.

The next one, IRNSS-1B, is due in early 2014 and the full constellation is planned to be completed in 2015. The services cannot begin until the other navigation spacecraft are also up in orbit, according to ISRO officials.

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