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India plans string of satellite launches
Sriharikota (IANS): The Indian space agency has lined up a string of launches, including the silver jubilee flight of the Polar Satellite Launch...
Sriharikota (IANS): The Indian space agency has lined up a string of launches, including the silver jubilee flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C25 (PSLV-C25) carrying the Mars orbiter, a top official said. "The Mars mission will be anytime after October 21 this year," Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan told reporters here on Tuesday, adding that after ejection, the orbiter will begin its Mars voyage around November 28 or 29. He expressed his happiness at the successful launch of India's first navigation satellite - Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-1A (IRNSS-1A) - Monday night. Speaking about the other launches, Radhakrishnan said an advanced meteorological satellite - INSAT-3D - will be sent aloft on an Ariane 5 rocket later this month. He said the GSat-14 communication satellite will be launched from here via the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) heavy rocket on August 6. Another communication satellite - GSat-7 - will also be launched by an Ariane rocket this year and the satellite will be shipped to French Guiana spaceport. Radhakrishnan said another PSLV rocket is planned to carry the SPOT-7 foreign satellite sometime during December this year. "In January 2014, GSLV Mark III experimental mission is slated. And there is also the launch of India's second navigation satellite IRNSS-1D in March 2014," Radhakrishnan said. Asked about the revenue potential of the navigation satellite system that will come into play by 2015, Radhakrishnan said: "There is a large group of users for navigation systems. Several new services will also develop." He said the navigation satellite service can be started with four satellites in place. The IRNSS is a constellation of seven satellites in space and two satellites as reserves. The project cost is around Rs.1,450 crore - Rs.350 crore for the ground systems and the balance for the nine satellites. It is a regional navigational system developed by India designed to provide accurate position information service to users within the country and up to 1,500 km from the nation's boundaries. While ISRO is silent on the navigation system's strategic application, it is clear that IRNSS will be used for defence purposes as well. The system is similar to the global positioning system (GPS) of the US (24 satellites), Glonass of Russia (24 satellites), Galileo of Europe (27 satellites), China's Beidou (35 satellites) and the Japanese Quasi Zenith Satellite System with three satellites. IRNSS-IA launch important milestone in space programme: PM New Delhi (PTI): Hailing the successful launch of IRNSS-1A satellite, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday 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's GPS, he added. ISRO helped during Uttarakhand floods Sriharikota (IANS): The Indian space agency extended a helping hand during rescue operations in calamity-hit Uttarakhand by taking photographs and transmitting them to the Central and State governments, a top official said. "During disaster management, ISRO (Indian Space Research Orgnisation) has responsibilities like providing communication systems, imageries, equipments and others," ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan told reporters here on Tuesday. Replying to a query, he said the agency has been taking pictures from June 17 onwards and transmitting them to the Central and the State governments. Radhakrishnan said ISRO's Space Applications Centre sent 12 satellite phones and VSAT terminals to Uttarakhand. "Around 1,000 phone calls were made with satellite phones," he said. The ISRO chairman said the space agency is in touch with the Uttarakhand government, Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Disaster Management Authority.