India Launches Latest Satellite with its own GPS System

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India Launches Final Satellite for Its Own Version of GPS
Bystanders look on as the Indian Space Research Organisation's satellite is launched from Sriharikota in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, April 28, 2016. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

On September 28, 2016 India has finally launched its seventh and final satellite to create its own GPS system. According to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the system will be known as Navigation with Indian Constellation or NAVIC. After its launch, India will not have the need to depend on other countries for military navigation. India will also join the ranks of China, Russia and U.S. once the system is fully operational. The system is designed to provide accurate real-time positioning and timing services all over India and as far as 1,500km around the country. NAVIC will be used for aerial, marine and terrestrial navigation, tracking of vehicle and fleet management, mobile phones integration, precise timing, mapping and geodetic data capture. It can also be used as terrestrial navigation aid for all travelers and hikers; and visual and voice navigation for drivers.

The satellite has two kinds of services – the first one is open source and second which is restricted and strongly encrypted. The latter is only for “authorized users”, as per Indian Space Research Organization

The Prime Minister was able to watch the launch from the ISRO office located in New Delhi and congratulated its scientists.

“With this successful launch, we will determine our paths powered by our technology. This is a great gift to people from scientists.”, Mr. Modi said.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee also said that the launch was “an important landmark in our space program with India now joining the small group of nations having their own regional satellite navigation system” and it “demonstrates, yet again, India’s growing capabilities in space launch technology”

India has been receiving recognition from worldwide as a low-cost option for sending satellites into orbit. Two years back, India sends a satellite into orbit of Mars, which makes it the first country in Asia to reach the red planet.

Jitendra Singh, the space minister of India said that the country also have plans to launch a communications satellite that will give enhanced bandwidth connectivity to rural areas, and it will be launched at the end of 2016 or the first quarter of 2017.