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 Dr S. Ramakrishnan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). He said that now we relied 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.
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