Indian rocket with navigation satellite blasts off

Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh), March 10 (IANS) An Indian rocket on Thursday evening blasted off successfully with the country’s sixth navigation satellite called IRNSS-1F from the rocket port here.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-XL version standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing 320 tonnes tore into the evening sky at 4 p.m., breaking free of the earth’s gravitational pull.

As the rocket went up, its engine roar reverberated over the media centre like a rolling thunder much to the thrill of the people here.

Named the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), the system consists of a constellation of seven satellites, of which five – IRNSS-1A, IRNSS-1B, IRNSS-1C, IRNSS-1D and IRNSS-1E – have already been put into orbit.

The sixth satellite — IRNSS-1F weighing 1,425 kg — is expected to join the other five soon.

Just over 20 minutes into the flight, the rocket would put into orbit IRNSS-1F at an altitude 488.9 km.

The satellite’s life span is 12 years, an ISRO official said.

(V. Jagannathan can be contacted at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

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