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Member of an Exclusive Club

India belongs undoubtely to the elitist club of the world's major space nations. India is now ranked among the advanced spacefaring nations. Its activities are very much dictated by strategic considerations. China's hyperactivity in this area is clearly an important factor in speeding up the country's program. And the government has long understood the importance of having an ambitious space program. India has launched 65 satellites since its first attempt in 1975, using a Russian rocket. It launched a few weeks ago from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre its first dedicated navigation satellite the IRNSS-1A, first of seven satellites constituting the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. As a result India will have its own navigational system by 2015. According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) this satellite is intended to provide terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation services for users in India as well as neighbouring regions. It has a lifespan of around 10 years. The IRNSS will provide two types of services: Standard Positioning Service (SPS) and Restricted Service (RS) in form of an encrypted service provided only to authorised users. To put it clearly this system will provide extremely accurate informations concerning positioning and navigation to the civilian population and to the Army. This system is similar to the global positioning system (GPS) of the US, Russia, China and Europe. Welcome to the Club!

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