India's first navigational satellite blasts off

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The Indian rocket carrying the country's first navigation satellite blasted off from a launch pad at the...

The Indian rocket carrying the country's first navigation satellite blasted off from a launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota late on Monday night. Exactly at 11.41 pm, the rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C22 standing around 44 metres tall and weighing around 320 tonnes roared off, turning the dark skies bright orange.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) officials hope that the agency's crucial space mission will turn out to be a grand success. The PSLV-C22 rocket is expected to spit out its only luggage - the 1,425 kg IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System)-1A. The entire flight sequence - lift-off to the satellite ejection � took around 20 minutes. IRNSS will provide services both to civilians and the military, which are similar to those of the US Global Positioning System.

Among those present was the Chairman of ISRO, Dr K Radhakrishnan. He exchanged pleasantries with the SHAR scientists after the successful liftoff of the satellite. The IRNSS-1A is one of the seven satellites constituting the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) space segment. With navigation and ranging payloads, it provides accurate positional information to users as well as the entire region, extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary.

According to M Y S Prasad, SHAR director, the satellite was made totally with indigenous technology. Russia, China and the US had already launched such satellites. The satellite, expected to start sending signals a week later, is capable of providing information on the location of vehicles, ships and aircraft up to 1,500 km range. Its life span is around 10 years.

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