India is hoping that its own regional navigation satellite, on the lines of China's, will become operational by 2015, the government said Wednesday.
Replying to a question on India's space programme vis-a-vis China's, Minister of State in the PMO V. Narayanaswamy told the Lok Sabha that the first satellite for the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) was launched in July this year.
An Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) initiative, the IRNSS is designed to provide better accuracy from 10 miles over India and the region extending about 1,500 km around India.
It is expected to provide accurate real time position, navigation and time (PNT) services to users on a variety of platforms with 24X7 service availability under all weather conditions.
According to the minister, while India has strength in space applications, China's strength lies in the launch vehicle domain.
"India has strength in space applications and India's domestic constellation of remote sensing and communication satellites are considered to be the largest in Asia-Pacific region," Narayanaswamy said.
"In the field of space science and planetary exploration, both India and China have sent orbiters to the moon," he added.
Referring to India's Mars orbiter Mangalyaan, launched Nov 5, the minister said it had completed the earth orbiting phase and successfully earth's sphere of influence Dec 4.