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Navigational supremacy: How ISRO’s launch of IRNSS puts it in league with US and China

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Indian Space Research Organization successfully launched IRNSS-1D into orbit today using its own rocket.

The 1,425 Kg satellite was launched at 5:19 pm with the help of 44 meters tall, 320 tones heavy Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle – (PSLV-C27).

The success of IRNSS has brought India very close to joining the group of very few nations with their own navigational satellite system.

The navigational system will give a strong boost to India’s defence capabilities. It will also help the country in mineral exploration and navigation.

IRNSS is similar to (GPS) of the US (24 satellites), Glonass of Russia (24 satellites) and Galileo of Europe (27 satellites), China’s Beidou (35 satellites).

Launched from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, the satellite is controlled by the Mission Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka.

The President of India,  Pranab Mukherjee also congratulated the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for the successful launch of PSLV-C27.

In a message to  AS Kiran Kumar, Chairman of ISRO, the President said, “My heartiest congratulations to you and your entire team at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for the successful launch of PSLV-C27, carrying the IRNSS-1D. I am very happy to know that this is the fourth in the series of seven satellites of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. I understand the IRNSS-1D will provide navigation, tracking and mapping services which will take us closer to setting up our own navigation system. ”

The nation is proud of this achievement which has demonstrated, yet again, India’s increasing space capabilities, President added.

 

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SpaceX Crew Rocket Ready For Launch In January: NASA

The Jan. 7 launch date announcement comes a day after NASA said it would conduct a "cultural assessment study" of the companies.

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SpaceX shows its new spacesuit that will be worn by NASA astronauts during their first spaceflights in the Crew Dragon spacecraft during a visit to SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, U.S. VOA

The first flight of a SpaceX rocket tailored to fly astronauts to the International Space Station is set for liftoff from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 7, NASA said on Wednesday.

The launch test is a crucial milestone in the space agency’s Commercial Crew Program, which aims to launch humans to space from U.S. soil for the first time in nearly a decade.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration said SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft — which will shuttle three astronauts to space from the same launch pad that sent Apollo 11’s three-man crew to the moon in 1969 — will make its debut flight atop SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on January 7.

SpaceX
A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from historic launch pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. VOA

While NASA did not detail the flight path, it said the test would provide data on the performance of the Falcon 9, Crew Dragon capsule, and ground systems, as well as on-orbit, docking and landing operations.

SpaceX and Boeing Co are the two main contractors selected under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to send astronauts to space as soon as 2019, using their Crew Dragon and CST-100 Starliner spacecraft respectively.

Since the U.S. space shuttle program was shut down in 2011, NASA has had to rely on Russia to fly astronauts to the space station, a $100 billion orbital research laboratory that flies about 250 miles (402 km) above Earth.

The Demo-1 launch is the latest test in a rigorous certification timeline imposed under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. While SpaceX is targeting early January, NASA spokeswoman Marie Lewis said the demo mission could be pushed back because “flying safely has always taken precedence over schedule.”

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A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket (VOA)

Founded by Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk, SpaceX said if the January 7 test is successful, it plans to launch its first crewed mission in June 2019, but the timeline may shift.

Boeing plans a similar test launch of the Starliner spacecraft atop its Atlas 5 rocket as soon as March, with a crewed mission following in August.

Also Read: NASA Chooses Landing Site For Mars 2020 Rover

The Jan. 7 launch date announcement comes a day after NASA said it would conduct a “cultural assessment study” of the companies, “including the adherence to a drug-free environment,” prior to crew test flights. (VOA)