For the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), there’s simply no time to sit back and mope. ISRO is preparing for its next mission even as the space agency is yet to come out of the shock dealt by the March 29 GSAT-6A mission which went awry.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C-41 (PSLV C-41) mission is slated to lift off from the Sriharikota spaceport on April 12. The PSLV C-41 mission will place in orbit the IRNSS-1I satellite, a replacement for the IRNSS-1A satellite, whose rubidium atomic clocks failed. Though ISRO had intended to replace it with the IRNSS-1H in August last year, that satellite failed to separate from the payload fairing of the PSLV C-39 rocket.

IRNSS-1I is technically the ninth satellite in the constellation that makes up the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS). What is significant is that the April 12 mission comes barely two weeks after the March 29 GSLV Mk-II mission which left the space agency in a tizzy after the payload - the GSAT-6A satellite - got ‘lost’ in space. ISRO is still trying to restore communication with the satellite. S Somanath, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), ISRO’s lead agency for space vehicles, said the space agency expected the PSLV C-41 mission to be a smooth one.

‘’We have not taken any additional precautions as the satellite is a different type. Moreover, we had conducted a successful PSLV mission, the PSLV C-40, in January this year,” Somanath said. For the C-41 mission also, ISRO will be employing an XL version of the PSLV, he said.