India launches 8th navigation satellite
The state-owned Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)'s indigenous Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle blasted off with the navigation satellite IRNSS-1I from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota early Thursday and subsequently put it into space.
"I am extremely happy to announce that the eight navigation satellite of India was launched successfully into the NAVIC constellation. We are moving towards a major goal. This NAVIC constellation will create history," ISRO chief K. Sivan told the media.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated space scientists.
"Congratulations to our scientists on the successful launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1I by PSLV. This success will bring benefits of our space programme to the common man. Proud of team @isro!" he tweeted.
Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) has the operational name of NAVIC or Navigation with Indian Constellation.
The IRNSS 1I was actually launched as a replacement for one in the series of seven satellites after the first one malfunctioned and efforts to replace it with another one failed last year, officials said.
Once in place, the NAVIC will provide satellite-based navigation that will be used for both civilian and military purposes. ■