The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched the country's first navigation satellite early Tuesday (2 July).
The 44-metre tall polar Satellite Launch Vehicle - C22 (PSLV-C22), carrying aboard the first Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System -1A (IRNSS -1A), lifted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, after the completion of the 64-and-a-half-hour countdown which commenced on 29 June. The launch marks the successful 23rd mission of the PSLV.
"At the completion of the countdown, PSLV-C22 lifted off from the First Launch Pad at 23:41 hrs IST yesterday (July 1, 2013) with the ignition of the first stage and four strap-on motors of the launch vehicle," ISRO said.
"The important flight events, namely, stage and strap-on ignitions, heat-shield separation, stage and strap-on separations and satellite injection took place exactly as planned. After a flight of 20 minutes 17 seconds, the IRNSS-1A Satellite, weighing 1425 kg, was injected to the intended elliptical orbit of 282.46 km X 20,625.37 km."
The solar panels of IRNSS-1A were deployed automatically and ISRO's Master Control Facility located at Hassan in Karnataka took the control of the satellite. From the Master Control Facility five orbit maneuvers will be carried out so to position the satellite in its geosynchronous circular orbit.
IRNSS-1A, carrying two types of payloads (navigational payload and ranging payload), is the first of the seven satellites launched to create an independent navigational system similar to the US Global Positioning System (GPS).
The satellite has been designed to provide accurate position information services to users in India as well as to the regions extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary. Two types of services would be provided - Standard Positioning Services (SPS) which is provided to all users and Restricted Services (RS) which is provided to authorised users.
ISRO is planning to launch the remaining six satellites by 2015-16.