In a landmark journey into a new era of space application, India successfully launched its first dedicated navigation satellite using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle which blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
The country's workhorse PSLV blasted off at 11.41 PM last night and it ejected IRNSS-1A satellite and placed it in orbit a little past midnight, technically on Tuesday.
"IRNSS-1A, first of the seven satellites, constituting the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) space segment, was launched at a cost of approximately Rs 125 crore," ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said after the launch.
Consisting of a space segment and a ground segment, IRNSS has three satellites in geostationary orbit and four satellites in inclined geosynchronous orbit and is to be completed before 2015.
Over Rs 300 crore is earmarked for the ground segment and almost all the satellites would cost Rs 125 crore, since all of them would most probably be identical, he said.
The launch was "very precise" he said, adding that when the target of apogee was aimed at 20,650 km plus or minus 750 km, the rocket achieved an apogee of 20,625 km.