Chennai, March 19 India is likely to put into orbit its fourth regional navigation satellite on March 28, with the country’s space agency now in the process of loading the rocket with the satellite, an official said on Thursday.
“The process of integrating the IRNSS-1D (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) is underway and it is expected to be completed today (Thursday) or tomorrow (Friday),” an official of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told IANS, preferring anonymity.
India’s rocket port is located at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, around 80 km from here.
“The rocket launch is tentatively fixed at 5.19 p.m. on March 28. However, a final decision will be taken after testing the rocket and the satellite and everything is found sound,” he added.
Following that, ISRO’s Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) will meet and give the final nod for the rocket’s blast-off.
The 1,425 kg IRNSS-1D will zoom into the space atop the Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-XL).
Originally the satellite was to be launched on March 9.
However, on March 4, ISRO deferred the launch after it found that one of the telemetry transmitters in the IRNSS-1D was not working properly.
India has so far launched three regional navigational satellites as part of a constellation of seven satellites to provide accurate position information service to users across the country and the region, extending up to an area of 1,500 km.
Though the full system comprises nine satellites — seven in orbit and two on the ground as stand-by — the navigation services could be made operational with four satellites, ISRO officials said.
Each satellite costs around Rs.150 crore and the PSLV-XL version rocket costs around Rs.130 crore. The seven rockets would involve an outlay of around Rs.910 crore.
The entire IRNSS constellation of seven satellites is planned to be completed by 2015.
The first satellite IRNSS-1A was launched in July 2013, the second IRNSS-1B in April 2014 and the third on October 16, 2014.
Once the regional navigation system is in place, India need not be dependent on other platforms.