India will launch this year the first of its series of navigation satellites required to provide regional navigation service, independent of the U.S.-controlled GPS (Global Positioning System), said S. Ramakrishnan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).
He said that now we rely on the GPS for the navigation service. Europe, Russia and China were either having or evolving their own navigation services independent of the GPS. The Indian Space Research Organisation too was planning to evolve indigenous navigation service to provide enhanced and more precise navigation. To provide this service, to be christened ‘Gagan,’ India needed to launch a number of satellites and the first of this series, the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), would be launched by the PSLV C-22 rocket, probably in the second half of this year. After all the required satellites were launched, India would be in a position to provide navigation service through ‘Gagan’ probably in 2014, Dr. Ramakrishnan added. He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an international conference on “Bio energy, Environment and Sustainable Technologies” (BEST 2013), a four-day event, organised by the Arunai Engineering College here.
To a question on Chandrayaan-II, he said the moon mission was getting delayed since Russia, partner of the programme, was completely reviewing the spacecraft design after the failure of its own mars mission.
Earlier, delivering the inaugural address at BEST 2013, he said space science was playing a crucial role in surveying and assessing environmental damage like depletion of the ozone layer, shrinking of the polar ice cap and pollution of coastlines.