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    India has successfully launched its first 2nd Gen navigation satellite, NVS-01, as part of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (NavIC). NavIC is India’s version of GPS and consists of nine satellites, seven of which are currently in orbit. The NVS series of satellites will sustain and enhance NavIC with improved features. The NVS-01, weighing 2,232 kg and with a mission life of 12 years, was carried into orbit by Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). It has payloads that operate on L1, L5, and S bands, providing services for Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) for civilian users and interoperability with other Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals. NVS-01 will be taken to its final position from the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

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    ISRO had used imported atomic clocks on all nine navigation satellites launched earlier. The NavIC satellites were performing well until the atomic clocks in IRNSS-1A failed. Some of the atomic clocks in a couple of other satellites were also not functioning correctly. The clocks are crucial for accurate positioning data. Each satellite has three atomic clocks. Currently, four of the eight NavIC satellites in orbit are functional for navigation services, with the other four being messaging services. India has launched nine first-generation NavIC satellites, including the two standby satellites.

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    NVS-01 carries two types of payloads – navigation payload and ranging payload. The navigation payload operates in L1, L5, and S-bands and transmits navigation service signals to users. The ranging payload consists of a CxC transponder used for a two-way CDMA ranging to facilitate precise orbit determination. NavIC is useful for various civil and strategic applications. Five more NVS versions are planned, with two more needed after 2 to 3 years to replace existing ones. The cost of these five satellites is less than Rs 1,000 crore.

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