India on Thursday afternoon successfully put into orbit its seventh and final navigation satellite – IRNSS-1G – with its own rocket in copy-book style.
With this, India successfully completed putting into orbit all the seven navigation satellites to complete the system in the sky.
Exactly at 12.50 p.m. the PSLV rocket standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing 320 tonnes tore into the afternoon skies with fierce orange flames at its tail.
Gathering speed every second, the rocket raced amidst cheers of ISRO officials assembled at the rocket port.
At the rocket mission control room, scientists were glued to their computer screens watching the rocket escaping the earth’s gravitational pull.
Just over 20 minutes into the flight, the PSLV rocket ejected its sole passenger – IRNSS-1F – at an altitude of 488.9 km.
Soon after this, the satellite’s solar panels were deployed.
The satellite’s control was then taken over by the Mission Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka.
The MCF will manage the satellite’s orbit raising operations firing the on-board motors till it is placed in its slotted orbit.
Simply put, the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is similar to the GPS (global positioning system) of the US, Glonass of Russia and Galileo of Europe as well as China’s Beidou.
While GPS and Glonass are fully functional global systems, the Chinese and the Japanese systems offer regional coverage and Europe’s Galileo is yet to be operational.India will formally join the select group of nations owing such system once IRNSS is declared operational after checking the systems – space (satellites), ground (ground stations) and the user-end signal receivers.