The launch of IRSO’s eight navigation satellite IRNSS-1H onbaord of PSLV-C39 from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh was unsuccessful. The heat shield did not separate as a result of which satellite did not complete the 4th stage.
The IRNSS-1H was being sent to space to back up and replace the functions of India’s first navigation satellite IRNSS-1A (launched in July 2013) as its three rubidium atomic clocks on board had stopped functioning.
The rubidium atomic clocks on board of IRNSS-1A that stopped working were imported from European aerospace manufacturer Astrium. The atomic clocks are used to find satellite’s position with an accuracy of 0.5 metre.
IRNSS-1H was India’s first satellite actively built by consortium of private firms led by Bengaluru-based Alpha Design Technologies. The consortium had completed 25% development work of IRNSS-1H, under the guidance of ISRO scientists. Prior to development of this satellite, private sector’s role was only limited to supplying components to ISRO.
The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is an independent regional system developed by India on par with the US-based GPS, Russia’s Glonass and Galileo developed by Europe. The navigation system offers wide services like terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management visual and voice navigation for drivers. It was named “Navic” (Navigation with Indian Constellation) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.