SATISH DHAWAN SPACE CENTRE, India - ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has successfully launched the 1425 kg IRNSS-1D, the fourth satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). The 27th operational PSLV (PSLV-C27) lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on the evening of March 28. This is the twenty eighth consecutively successful mission of the PSLV. The 'XL' configuration of PSLV was used for this mission. Previously, the same configuration of the vehicle was successfully used seven times.
A PSLV lifting off
After the PSLV-C27 lift-off at 5:19 p.m. IST (7:49 a.m. EDT) from the Second Launch Pad with the ignition of the first stage, the subsequent important flight events, namely, strap-on ignitions and separations, first stage separation, second stage ignition, heat-shield separation, second stage separation, third stage ignition and separation, fourth stage ignition and satellite injection, took place as planned. After a flight of about 19 minutes 25 seconds, IRNSS-1D Satellite was injected to an elliptical orbit of 282.52 km X 20,644 km (very close to the intended orbit) and successfully separated from the PSLV fourth stage.
After injection, the solar panels of IRNSS-1D were deployed automatically. ISRO's Master Control Facility (at Hassan, Karnataka) took over the control of the satellite. In the coming days, four orbit maneuvers will be conducted from Master Control Facility to position the satellite in the Geosynchronous Orbit at 111.75° East longitude with 30.5° inclination.
IRNSS-1D is the fourth of the seven satellites constituting the space segment of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. IRNSS-1A, 1B and 1C, the first three satellites of the constellation, were successfully launched by PSLV on July 02, 2013, April 04, 2014 and October 16, 2014 respectively. All the three satellites are functioning satisfactorily from their designated orbital positions. The next satellite is planned to be launched later this year. The seven-satellite constellation will be complete by the end of 2016.
IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland. IRNSS would provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Services (SPS) - provided to all users - and Restricted Services (RS), provided to authorized users.
While the PSLV primarily serves the Indian market, the reliability and low price of the launch vehicle is beginning to attract international attention. Contracts for satellite launches have come from organizations in Canada, Indonesia, Germany, and Luxembourg. A steady manifest from the ISRO, along with increasing contracts on the international market, puts the PSLV on sound footing.