With this launch, India moved closer to joining a select group of nations having their own satellite-based navigation systems to provide accurate position information services to users across the country and the region, extending approximately 1,500 km around India.

"We have begun the new year with a successful launch and a precise injection of the fifth navigational satellite in the intended orbit," Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman AS Kiran Kumar said from the mission control centre 20 minutes after the PSLV rocket carrying the satellite blasted off at 9.31 am.

The 44-metre-high polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV-C31), weighing 320 tonnes and carrying the 1,425-kg Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS-1E), soared into a cloudy sky, leaving behind a column of dense orange flame and a huge cloud of fumes at the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan space centre on the sea coast here, about 80 km north-east of Chennai.

"The spacecraft's solar panels were deployed soon after its separation from the rocket and injection in the intended orbit. The satellite's health is normal," the Indian space agency's satellite director M Annadurai said.

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the ISRO scientists on the successful launch.

"Heartiest congratulations to the ISRO team on the successful launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1E," the president said in his message. "Congratulating the dynamism and determination of ISRO and our scientists on the successful launch of PSLV-C31 and putting IRNSS-1E in orbit precisely," PM Modi tweeted.

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