It is a matter of immense pride and joy," the Prime Minister said in a statement here. ISRO launched its third navigation satellite IRNSS 1C on board its PSLV rocket from Sriharikota in the wee hours, moving closer to setting up its own navigation system on par with the GPS of the USA. IRNSS 1C is part of the series of seven satellites ISRO is planning to launch to put in place what is called the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System.
Today's launch marked the first time that India has conducted four orbital launches in a year. Interestingly, the Prime Minister has visited ISRO twice, once for the launch of five foreign satellites in June and second when Mars Orbiter Mission was successfully inserted in the Red planet's orbit last month.
IRNSS 1C is the third of the series of seven satellites ISRO is planing to launch to put in place what is called the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. Lifting off from the First Launch Pad here exactly at 1.32 am, the rocket painted a golden brush of flames in the night sky and was a visual delight for onlookers.
Twenty minutes after the launch, the launch vehicle successfully placed the 1,425.4 kg weighing satellite on the intended orbit. ISRO has aimed to launch the satellite into a sub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (sub GTO) with a 284 km perigee (nearest point to Earth) and 20,650 km apogee (farthest point to Earth) with an inclination of 17.86 degree with respect to the equatorial plane. "India has successfully launched IRNSS 1C. The entire ISRO team deserves congratulations", ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan said after the launch. He also thanked the entire team that worked behind the successful launch. This was the seventh time ISRO was using an XL version of the PSLV rocket for its missions.