India gets homegrown satellite navigation system

April 28, 2016
The seventh satellite to make up the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) was launched into space via a rocket from Sriharikota spaceport in southwestern India

India on Thursday took the final step towards completing its own satellite navigation system, a development heralded by the prime minister as making the nation self-reliant in the field of space-based positioning.

The seventh to make up the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) was launched into space via a rocket from Sriharikota spaceport in southwestern India at 12:50 pm IST (0720 GMT).

However, unlike the widely used United States' Global Positioning System (GPS) or Russia's GLONASS, the Indian system will provide positioning information only in India and 1,500 square kilometres (580 square miles) around its periphery.

"Until now we were dependent on their systems, now we are self-reliant," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a televised congratulatory message to scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

"With this successful launch, we will determine our own paths powered by our technology. This is a great gift to our people from the scientists," he said.

"Our efforts will help not only India but we can help fellow SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) nations as well."

The system, which will be fully operational in a month's time, offers applications for marine and air and can be integrated into mobile phones for use by hikers or fishermen, for example.

Over the next six months, all the IRNSS satellites will be stabilised in their final orbital positions, ISRO spokesman Deviprasad Karnik said.

A ground control centre in the southern city of Bangalore and tracking stations across the country will monitor the system round the clock.

ISRO scientists have been riding high since an Indian spacecraft successfully reached Mars in 2014 on a shoe-string budget, winning Asia's race to the Red Planet and sparking an outpouring of national pride.

The eight countries that make up SAARC are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

China and the European Union are both developing global systems.

Explore further: India launches satellite for new navigation system

Related Stories

India launches satellite for new navigation system

July 2, 2013

India launched the first of seven satellites for its domestic satellite navigation network Tuesday, its space centre said, in the first step to creating a scaled down version of the US Global Positioning System.

India to launch satellite navigation system

July 1, 2013

India will Monday launch the first stage of its domestic satellite navigation network which will eventually provide services both to civilians and the military and is similar to the US Global Positioning System, officials ...

India launches biggest ever rocket into space

December 18, 2014

India successfully launched its biggest ever rocket on Thursday carrying an unmanned capsule which could one day send astronauts into space, as the country ramps up its ambitious space programme.

India sets November 5 for Mars mission launch

October 22, 2013

Scientists on Tuesday set November 5 for the delayed launch of India's first mission to Mars, which was postponed due to problems in positioning a seaborne tracking system.

India's spacecraft 'on target' to reach Mars

September 15, 2014

An Indian spacecraft is on course to reach Mars, an official said Monday, following a 666-million-kilometre voyage that could see New Delhi's low-cost space programme win Asia's race to the Red Planet.

Recommended for you

EPA adviser is promoting harmful ideas, scientists say

March 22, 2019

The Trump administration's reliance on industry-funded environmental specialists is again coming under fire, this time by researchers who say that Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox Jr., who leads a key Environmental Protection Agency ...

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.