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First navigational satellite launch this year: President

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NEW DELHI (PTI): India will launch this year the first satellite for its indigenously developed regional navigational system, its own version of the Global Positioning System, government said Monday.

This year will also see the launch for the country's first microwave remote sensing satellite -- RISAT-1.

"Several major satellite launches are planned for 2012, including India's first microwave remote sensing satellite with all-weather imaging capability, and India's first navigational satellite," President Pratibha Patil said in her address to the joint sitting of Parliament.

Patil said the next flight of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle using the indigenous cryogenic upper stage was also proposed to be conducted this year.

Besides use in the agriculture sector, the all weather capability of RISAT-1 could also be used to keep an eye on the country's borders round-the-clock and help in anti-terrorist and anti-infiltration operations.

The India Regional Navigational Satellite System, which will have a range of applications including personal navigation, will be India's answer to the US-operated GPS, Russia's Glonass, European Space Agency's under-development Galileo, and China's emerging constellation, Compass.

IRNSS will be a constellation of seven satellites having all-weather, round-the-clock coverage over the Indian landmass with an extended coverage of about 1,500 km around it.

"My government pursued the utilisation of space technologies for national benefit. Eight satellites were launched successfully. The communication satellite GSAT-8 was put into orbit," Patil said.


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