New Delhi – India on Tuesday launched the first of seven satellites to build its own navigation system, aiming to join a select group of countries that possess such technology.
A rocket launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation placed the 1 425kg satellite into orbit early on Tuesday, agency chief K Radhakrishnan said.
The full constellation of seven satellites is scheduled for completion 2016, the space agency said.
China, the US and Russia have their own satellite navigation systems. The project is aimed at reducing India's dependence for Global Positioning System-based services.
Premier Manmohan Singh said the launch marked an important milestone in the development of the country's space programme. India plans to send its first mission to Mars later this year.