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2014 to end on launch high for ISRO

Thu, Oct 16, 2014, 04:34 PM
Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh) Oct 16 : The Indian space agency has lined up a series of satellite launches, including the experimental flight of its heavy rocket GSLV-Mark III, before the end of this calendar year, officials said here.

"The experimental mission of GSLV Mark III (geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle) with crew module will be launched in 45 days. In December communication satellite GSAT-16 with 48 transponders will be launched by Ariane rocket from French Guiana," Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan said here.

He was speaking after the successful launch of India's third navigation satellite -IRNSS-IC- Thursday.

With the successful launch of the third of the seven satellites planned under the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) early Thursday, India moved nearer to a select group of space-faring nations having such a system.

"Another IRNSS satellite launch mission will be in December-January," said M.Y.S. Prasad, director, Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

Radhakrishnan had earlier said that though IRNSS is a seven-satellite system it could be made operational with four satellites.

The first satellite IRNSS-1A was launched in July 2013 and the second IRNSS-1B in April 2014. Both have already started functioning from their designated orbital slots.

The navigational system, developed by India, is designed to provide accurate position information service to users within the country and up to 1,500 km from the nation's boundary line.

The system, expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 metres in the primary service area, is similar to the global positioning system of the US, Glonass of Russia, Galileo of Europe, China's Beidou or the Japanese Quasi Zenith Satellite System.

The system will be used for terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, integration with mobile phones, mapping and geodetic data capture, visual and voice navigation for drivers and others.

While the ISRO is silent on the navigation system's strategic application, it is clear that the IRNSS will be used for defence purposes as well.

By adding more satellites, the service area can be expanded, an ISRO official said.

Silencing the critics of India's space programme, Radhakrishnan while referring to disaster management assistance provided by space technology when Hudhud cyclone battered Andhra Pradesh recently, said: "There is relevance for our existence."
Agency: IANS
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