The Indian Space Research Organisation will be launching Google’s Sky Box Imaging satellite for GPS maps this year from its spaceport at Sriharikota.
As reported by The Asian Age, this will be the first time when ISRO will launch a US satellite. After acquisition of the satellite imaging company Sky Box Imaging, Google wants to develop precision maps using its own network of 180-odd satellites.
Sky Box had entered into an agreement with Antrix Corporation before its takeover to launch the 120-kg satellite. It will be flown as a co-passenger along with the main payload during one of the satellite launching this year.
According to senior officials involved in space research, Google is interested in using Skybox satellites to help provide accurate, precise, up to date, close to real time images on Google maps. Further, Google plan to take help from Skybox’s team and technology to help improve Internet access and disaster relief.
In December 2014, ISRO had launched Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (MK III) for a test flight. It was claimed to be biggest space rocket designed to carry heavier communication satellite and a capsule which could one day take astronauts into space.