Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh: India yesterday moved a step closer to setting up its own satellite navigation system when in a copy-book style it successfully placed into orbit a satellite using its own rocket.
With the successful launch of the second of the planned seven satellites under the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), India moved nearer to a select group of nations that have such a space-based system.
President Pranab Mukherjee said the launch was “an important landmark in our space programme and demonstrates, yet again, India’s capabilities in space launch technology”.
“The nation will immensely benefit from the applications of IRNSS which include terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management,” he said.
The Indian rocket carrying the satellite blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, around 80km north of Chennai.
Exactly at 5.14 pm, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C24 (PSLV-C24) — standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing about 320 tonnes - blasted off from the first launch pad here at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC).
The expendable rocket riding atop fierce orange flames tore into the evening sky with its luggage, the 1,432 kg IRNSS-1B (Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System-1B) satellite, in a perfect launch.
For the onlookers, the rocket looked like an inverted flare/torch with a long handle as it ascended towards the heavens. ISRO scientists and the media team assembled at the rocket port here proudly applauded the spectacle.
Space scientists at ISRO new rocket mission control room were glued to their computer screens watching the rocket escape the earth’s gravitational pull.
About 20 minutes into the flight, the PSLV-C24 spat out IRNSS-1B at an altitude of around 500 km above the earth.
Immediately on the successful ejection, scientists at the mission control centre were visibly relieved and started applauding happily.IANS