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ISRO’s private sector-built IRNSS 1H satellite launch unsuccessful

The launch of India’s latest navigational satellite IRNSS 1H in its indigenous GPS system NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) failed due to a technical glitch on Thursday.

A rare setback for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) mission, the satellite’s fourth stage in the launch mission did not go as planned, nearly 20 minutes after satellite had a perfect lift off from the space centre in Sriharikota.

The 1,425 kg Indian Regional Navigation Satellite-1H (IRNSS-1H), which was launched at 7 p.m. on board the PSLV, was declared unsuccessful after its heat shield failed to separate.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said: “The mission was unsuccessful.”

The first three stages of the satellite launch were completed as intended. However,in the fourth state, the satellite did not deploy as something went wrong with its heat shield after the command for separation was initiated.

Adressing media after the failed launch, Kumar said it was fortunate that the PSLV-C39 had only one satellite on board.

A successful launch would have ushered a new era in the country’s history of space exploration as, for the first time, the private sector has been actively involved in assembling and testing of a satellite. Earlier, the private sector’s role was limited only to supplying components.

The 1,425 kg satellite took off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 7 pm on Thursday. The IRNSS 1H was to augment the existing seven satellites in the NavIC system.

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