India’s first dedicated navigation satellite IRNSS-1A will be launched onboard PSLV-C22 around midnight on Monday from the spaceport of Sriharikota with the mission countdown progressing smoothly.

ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is scheduled to blast off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, about 80 km from Chennai, at 11.41 pm carrying the satellite.

“The 64-and-a-half hour countdown for the launch has begun at 7.11 am on Saturday and is progressing smoothly. Everything is on schedule and the launch would take place at 11.41 pm on Monday”, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) spokesman Deviprasad Karnik said.

The 1,425 kg IRNSS-1A, the first satellite in Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), has a mission life of 10 years and would provide accurate real-time position and timing information to users in the country as well as the region extending up to 1,500 km around it, ISRO said.

The IRNSS-1A, carrying two types of payloads — navigation and ranging payloads — would be injected into space about 20 minutes after lift-off.

On the unusual midnight launch, the first from Sriharikota, ISRO sources said the time for every launch was determined by the orbital parameters and inclination.

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