New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Thursday successfully launched its sixth navigational satellite on board its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-32) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 4.01pm as part of its plan to put in place an indigenous navigation system similar to US-based global positioning system (GPS) and the Russian GLONASS.

“Successful launch of IRNSS-1F is an accomplishment we all take immense pride in. I salute the hardwork of our scientists and Isro", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after the successful launch.

The satellite, IRNSS-1F, is part of the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System of seven satellites.

“The PSLV put the sixth satellite into the right orbit. We have only one more satellite left in this constellation to complete our sequence of seven satellites to complete our regional navigational system," said A.S. Kiran Kumar, chairman of Isro.

The final satellite, IRNSS-1G, which will complete the series of satellites, will be launched next month, after which the navigation system will become operational, he added.

Once fully operational, the constellation of satellites will reduce India’s dependence on foreign navigational systems. The other five satellites, IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C,ID and 1E , were successfully launched by PSLV on 2 July 2013, 4 April 2014, 16 October 2014, 28 March 2015 and 20 January, respectively. All the five satellites are functioning satisfactorily, the national space agency said.

The satellite, which has a lift-off mass of 1,425kg, was launched into a sub-geosynchronous transfer orbit.

IRNSS aims to set up a regional navigation system using a constellation of seven satellites, three in Geostationary Earth Orbit and four in Geosynchronous orbit.

IRNSS -1F carries two types of payloads – navigation payload and ranging payload. The navigation payload of IRNSS-1F will transmit navigation service signals to the users. The ranging payload which includes a C-band transponder, facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite.

IRNSS system is expected to provide position accuracy of better than 20 metres over the Indian region and an area extending about 1,500 sq.km around India.

It would provide two types of services: Standard Positioning Services, which will be available to all users, and Restricted Services, which will be available only to authorized users.

Ground stations responsible for the generation and transmission of navigation parameters, satellite ranging and monitoring have been set up in 18 locations across the country.

Isro officials said that the landmark of launch of India’s heaviest satellite on board the

Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mark III) will take before the year end. If successful, the launch could establish India’s capability to launch payloads as heavy as four tones, reducing its dependence on other space agencies.

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