NEW DELHI, April 4 (Xinhua) -- India on Friday launched into space its navigation satellite IRNSS-1B -- the second in a series of seven -- from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
The state-owned space agency's indigenous Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C24 (PSLV-C24) rocket, carrying the navigation satellite, blasted off at 5.14 p.m. (local time) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, officials at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said.
This is the second of the seven-satellite system, IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System), dubbed as India' version of "GPS".
According to ISRO chief K. Radhakrishnan, the country will have its own satellite navigation system with four satellites in the space before the end of this year. "This is because it could be made operational with four satellites though the IRNSS is a seven- satellite system," he said.
While the first one was launched in July 2013, two more would be launched later this year.
With this launch, India has become the sixth nation to have achieved this feat after the U.S., Russia, Europe, China and Japan.
India embarked on its space journey in 1975, and has so far completed over 100 space missions, including its maiden missions to the moon and Mars.