In a landmark journey into a new era of space application, India on Monday successfully launched its first dedicated navigation satellite using the Polar satellite Launch Vehicle which blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here.
The country’s workhorse PSLV blasted off at 11.41pm on Monday night and it ejected IRNSS1A satellite and placed it in orbit a little past midnight, technically on Tuesday.
Developed by India, the IRNSS-1A, the first of the seven satellites constituting the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) space segment, has a mission life of 10 years.
It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in the country as well as the region extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area.
“IRNSS-1A was launched at a cost of approximately Rs 125 crore,”ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan said after the launch.
Consisting of a space segment and a ground segment, IRNSS has three satellites in geostationary orbit and four satellites in inclined geosynchronous orbit and is to be completed before 2015.
Over Rs 300 crore is earmarked for the ground segment and almost all the satellites would cost Rs 125 crore, since all of them would most probably be identical, he said.
The launch was “very precise” he said, adding that when the target of apogee was aimed at 20,650 km plus or minus 750 km, the rocket achieved an apogee of 20,625 km.
IRNSS will be on lines with Russia’s Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS), European Union’s Galileo (GNSS), China’s BeiDou satellite navigation system and the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System.