Indian satellite’s orbit to be raised Tuesday night

Chennai, July 2 (IANS) Indian space agency ISRO will around midnight Tuesday carry out activities to raise the orbit of its first navigation satellite, Indian Regional Navigation Satellite-1A (IRNSS-1A), launched Monday night, said an official.

“The first orbit raising maneouvers will be carried out today (Tuesday) around midnight to take the satellite by firing its onboard motors towards its geo-synchronous orbit at 36,000 km,” the official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), five orbit maneouvers will be conducted from Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka to position the satellite in its geo-synchronous circular orbit at 55 degrees east longitude.

An ISRO official said the firing of satellite’s onboard motors will be conducted for a short duration Tuesday and Wednesday.

The IRNSS-1A is a constellation of seven satellites in space and two satellites as reserves. The project cost Rs.1,450 crore – Rs.350 crore for the ground systems and the rest for the nine satellites.

It is a regional navigational system designed by ISRO to provide accurate position information service to users within the country and up to 1,500 km from the nation’s boundaries.

While ISRO is silent on the navigation system’s strategic application, it is clear that IRNSS will be used for defence purposes as well.

The system is similar to the global positioning system (GPS) of the US (24 satellites), Glonass of Russia (24 satellites), Galileo of Europe (27 satellites), China’s Beidou (35 satellites) and the Japanese Quasi Zenith Satellite System with three satellites.

The IRNSS-1A is intended to provide terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation services and help in disaster and fleet management.

According to A.S. Kiran Kumar, director of Space Applications Centre, talks are on with industries for the signal receivers for the navigation systems.

ISRO launched the IRNSS-1A satellite Monday 11.41 p.m. from its spaceport in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh through its rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-XL (PSLV-XL) variant.

The rocket ejected the satellite into the orbit at 12.01 a.m Tuesday.

ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan said that with the successful launch of the satellite, India had entered “a new era of space applications”.

He said the navigation satellite service can be started with four satellites in place.

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