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India on Thursday (April 28) completed its landmark mission for a regional navigational system on par with US-based GPS with the successful launch of IRNSS-1G, the seventh and last in the constellation of satellites that make up the system. When the IRNSS-1G becomes operational in about a month's time, the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) would offer services like terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, navigation aide for hikers and travellers, visual and voice navigation for drivers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the scientists and congratulated the people of the country on the achievement saying, "with this successful launch, we will determine our own paths powered by our technology". "The world will know it as Navic.... The new technology will benefit our people, our fishermen. This is a great gift to people from scientists," Modi said. ISRO's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C33) lifted off from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in this spaceport, about 110 kms from Chennai, at 12.50 PM and soared into clear skies. The four-stage rocket injected IRNSS-1G into the intended orbit about 20 minutes after the lift-off as the PSLV marked yet another textbook launch and its 34th consecutive successful mission, reaffirming its dependability. While IRNSS was already operational with four satellites, the remaining three were required to make it "more accurate and efficient", Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said. The IRNSS comprising the seven satellites will offer services with much 'better accuracy' and targeted position in navigation on par with the Global Positioning System of the United States.

Here are five interesting facts about India’s own GPS system:


1. The satellite IRNSS-1G (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-1G) is part of a constellation of seven satellites to provide accurate position information service to users across the country and the region, extending up to an area of 1,500 km.

2. Till date, India has launched six regional navigational satellites (IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, ID, 1E and 1F). Though the full system comprises nine satellites — seven in orbit and two on the ground as stand-by, the navigation services could be made operational with four satellites, ISRO officials said earlier.

3. Each satellite costs about Rs.150 crore while the PSLV-XL version rocket costs about Rs.130 crore. The seven rockets would entail an outlay of about Rs.910 crore. The first satellite, IRNSS-1A, was launched in July 2013, the second in April 2014, the third on October 2014, the fourth in March 2015, and the fifth and sixth on January 20 and March 10 this year. Once the regional navigation system is in place, India does not need to depend upon other platforms.

4. The IRNSS is similar to the global positioning system (GPS) of the US (24 satellites), 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 are offering regional coverage and Europe’s Galileo is yet to be operational.

5. The IRNSS will provide two types of services — standard positioning service and restricted service. The former is provided to all users and the latter is an encrypted service for authorised users.

National Anthem of India performed by the Symphony Orchestra of India- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei5ZZJDz_Ug


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