ISRO Set to Launch Navigational Satellite for Constellation

Alongside the upcoming launch scheduled for the end of May, the space agency is also making preparations for two significant missions: Aditya-L1 and Gaganyaan.

On May 29, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will conduct its third launch of the year, deploying the NVS-01 satellite to enhance the NavIC navigation constellation. This launch will mark the debut of the NVS series for navigational satellites and will surpass ISRO’s launch records from the previous three years, which were affected by the pandemic. In 2020, 2021, and 2022, ISRO conducted only two launches each.

The earlier launches this year have also been significant milestones for ISRO. The first launch introduced the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) into ISRO’s existing fleet, while the second launch established the LVM Mk3 rocket as a reliable commercial launcher and demonstrated its capability to carry heavy payloads.

ISRO’s upcoming missions

These achievements reflect ISRO’s commitment to advancing its launch capabilities, expanding the NavIC navigation system, and overcoming challenges posed by the pandemic to maintain its momentum in space exploration.

ISRO has planned several major missions for the year, including the launch of its first solar mission, Aditya-L1, during the third quarter. Additionally, the space agency is expected to conduct two test vehicle missions as preparation for the first unmanned flight of the Gaganyaan mission.

These missions signify ISRO’s dedication to advancing space exploration and expanding the scope of its projects. They reflect significant milestones in India’s space journey and demonstrate ISRO’s determination to achieve its ambitious goals.

The NVS-01 satellite will take over the navigational responsibilities of the IRNSS-1G satellite in the constellation while still maintaining its communication and messaging capabilities.

The navigational accuracy of certain satellites was compromised due to malfunctions in the atomic clocks on board. Precise timing measurements are crucial for determining the position of objects in satellite-based navigation systems.

In response to the issues faced with imported atomic clocks, India made the decision to develop its own atomic clocks. This move aims to enhance self-reliance and ensure the reliability of atomic clock technology for future satellite missions.

In 2018, the Indian space agency replaced one of its satellites, IRNSS-1A. The need for a replacement arose after the first replacement satellite, which was launched in 2017, encountered an issue. The heat shield that contained the satellite failed to open as planned, resulting in the loss of the satellite.

There are currently four major global navigation systems in operation worldwide, namely the US Global Positioning System (GPS), the Russian GLONASS, the European Galileo, and the Chinese Beidou.

These systems offer precise positioning, navigation, and timing services on a global scale. Alongside these global systems, there are also regional navigation systems, including Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) and India’s Navic, which serve specific geographic regions.


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