India marched towards establishing its own navigation system on Friday when its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C24) put into precise orbit the country’s second navigation satellite, Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS-1B). The 1,432-kg IRNSS-1B will form part of a constellation of seven navigation satellites.
It was the 25th success in a row for the PSLV, after it majestically lifted off from the first launch pad at Sriharikota at 5.14 p.m. After 19 minutes of flight, IRNSS-1B was put into a perfect orbit.
K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said two more IRNSS satellites would be put into orbit before 2014-end and three more before mid-2015.
Mission Director P. Kunhikrishnan, said the mission accuracy was such that the satellite achieved a perigee of 283 km against the target of 284 km and an apogee of 20,630 km against the targeted 20,650 km.
“The satellite is doing extremely well in orbit,” said M. Nageswara Rao, Project Director, IRNSS. Its solar panels were deployed. Dr. Rao was confident that the satellite’s life would be longer than the targeted 10 years.
The IRNSS satellites will be useful for land, sea and air navigation. They have civil and defence applications.