With the launch of the 7th navigational satellite system, India has joined the ranks of the US and Russia, among others, owning its own constellation of seven satellites in the sky and three on the ground to complete the circle of a satellite network to watch you wherever you are in the country.
To be operational in a month’s time, the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) would offer mostly strategic and general navigation services such as terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, navigation aide for hikers and travellers, visual and voice navigation for drivers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “with this successful launch, we will determine our own paths powered by our technology… The new technology will benefit our people, our fishermen. This is a great gift to people from scientists."
Launched on ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C33) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota spaceport at 12.50 PM, the four-stage rocket injected IRNSS-1G into the its orbit in 20 minutes. This is ISRO’s 34th consecutive successful mission.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said the IRNSS comprising the seven satellites will offer services with much more accuracy on par with the Global Positioning System (GPS) of the United States. The other six satellites of IRNSS are — IRNSS-1F on March 10, 2016, IRNSS-1E (January 20, 2016), IRNSS-1D (March 28, 2015), IRNSS-1C (October 16, 2014), IRNSS-1B (April 4, 2014) and IRNSS-1A (July 1, 2013). All the seven satellites had cost the ISRO Rs.1,420 crore.
IRNSS-1G with 12-year mission life marks the full-fledged functioning of the IRNSS. While the moving object can be located anywhere in the country with a precision of 20 metres above the earth, it will also help locate missing persons, targeted persons and those on the run too within the country soon.