As the clock was about to strike 12 midnight, India’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) blasted off in a perfect launch at 11.41 pm last night carrying the indigenous IRNSS-1A from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
The successful launch of IRNSS-1A satellite by ISRO is an important milestone in the development of India’s space programme. With this launch, India has entered a new era in space applications with its first dedicated navigation satellite put into orbit by its polar rocket PSLV that will give the country an alternative to GPS.
The IRNSS-1A satellite is the first in a series which will give India its own space-based navigator system. Made up of a space segment and a ground segment, IRNSS has three satellites in the geostationary orbit and four satellites in inclined geosynchronous orbit and is to be completed before 2015.