India steps up space race with China

India's space programme will improve independent navigation services and help the economy (photo:dpa)
India's space programme will improve independent navigation services and help the economy (photo:dpa)

India has successfully launched the first of seven positioning satellites which will provide it with independent navigation services. It has plans to send a mission on course for Mars before the end of 2013, potentially fuelling the space race with China. But there are concerns about affordability at a time when India’s economic growth is at its slowest pace for a decade.

<i>India’s space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation, is on track to launch more satellites and rockets in 2013 than any other year, delivering both India’s own satellites to Earth orbit and providing launch services to other nations. It has already deployed the first of seven positioning satellite...

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