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India launches fourth navigation satellite

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Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh): India successfully put into orbit its fourth navigation satellite with its own rocket on Saturday evening in copybook style.

Exactly at 5.19 p.m., the rocket – Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle – (PSLV-C27) standing about 44 metres tall and weighing around 320 tonnes, roared into the bright blue clear evening sky trailing an orange plume.

The expendable rocket had a single but important piece of luggage: the 1,425 kg IRNSS-1D.

The rocket blasted off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here, around 80 km from Chennai.

For onlookers the rocket resembled an inverted flare/torch with a long handle as it gathered speed amidst the cheers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) officials and the media team assembled at the rocket port here.

At the rocket mission control room, Indian space scientists at ISRO were glued to their computer screens watching the rocket escaping the earth’s gravitational pull.

The PSLV-C27 ejected the IRNSS-1D around 20 minutes into the flight. Immediately, scientists at the mission control centre were visibly relieved and started clapping happily.

Soon after ejection into orbit, the satellite’s solar panels were deployed.

The satellite’s control was taken over by the Mission Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka.

The MCF will manage the satellite’s orbit raising operations by firing the on-board motors till it is placed in the circular geosynchronous orbit.

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

While GPS and Glonass are fully functional global systems, the Chinese and the Japanese systems offer regional coverage and Europe’s Galileo is yet to be operational.

The IRNSS will provide two types of services – standard positioning service and restricted service. The former is provided to all users and the later is an encrypted service for authorised users.

With this success, India moved closer towards joining a select group of nations with its own satellite navigation system.

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PM: Lockdown may have ended but virus still there, be vigilant

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that the lockdown may have ended, but the virus is still out there and urged people not to be complacent and drop their guard in the fight against Covid-19.

During his address to the nation on Tuesday evening, the Prime Minister emphasised that the government is working on a blueprint to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, and when it is ready, it will be available to each and every citizen.

Modi said he recently saw many pictures and videos which showed that people are not taking enough precautions to contain the spread of the virus.

 

“This is not right. We must keep in mind that the lockdown may have ended but the virus is still there. We cannot be careless or believe that Covid-19 has ended. If you are careless and moving around without a mask, you are putting yourself, the children and the elderly in your family at risk,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister also lauded the healthcare workers’ efforts in fighting the pandemic and claimed that India is on a better footing in the fight against Covid-19 as compared to many western countries.

Modi said the recovery rate in the country is good and the fatality rate is low when compared to the US and some countries in Europe.

Modi emphasised that India is doing better than many developed countries in the fight against coronavirus. He said the fatality rate in India is 83 out of every 10 lakh people, whereas it is more than 600 in countries like the US, Brazil, Spain and Britain.

He reiterated that till a vaccine is developed, people should not drop their guard and indulge in reckless behaviour.

Urging people to be careful during the festive season, Modi said, “Most of us are stepping out of our homes every day to fulfil our responsibilities. The festive season is also round the corner.”

On the development of a vaccine, Modi said that scientists of the country are working on a war footing to develop a vaccine and a few candidates are in advanced stages of trials.

The Prime Minister added that initially in the US and many countries in Europe, Covid-19 cases dropped very sharply, but they began to rise again at an alarming speed.

Modi also invoked sages like Sant Kabir and the holy scripture of Ramcharitmanas to make his point that people should not develop a casual approach towards the disease.

He also urged journalists and people using social media to create awareness regarding Covid-19

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