New Delhi: Hailing the successful launch of IRNSS-1A satellite, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today described it as an "important milestone in the development of India`s space programme".
He congratulated the scientists responsible for the successful launch of the satellite.
"India`s space programme is playing an increasingly important role in socio-economic development of the country," the Prime Minister said in a statement.
Joining a select group of nations, India entered a new era in space applications with its first dedicated navigation satellite being successfully put into orbit by its polar rocket PSLV that will give the country an alternative to US` GPS.
In a midnight launch, India`s workhorse 44-metres tall Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) blasted off in a perfect text book launch at 11.41 pm last night carrying the indigenous IRNSS-1A from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
The IRNSS-1A satellite is the first in a series which will give India its own space-based navigator system.
Consisting of a space segment and a ground segment, IRNSS has three satellites in geostationary orbit and four satellites in inclined geosynchronous orbit and is to be completed before 2015.