Rocket shot seen as gateway to manned space missions
NEW DELHI | India successfully launched its heaviest-ever rocket on Monday which it hopes will eventually be able to carry astronauts into space, a feat that only Russia, the United States and China have achieved, its space agency said.
The Indian Space Research Organization said the Mk III rocket lifted off from India’s space launch center in Sriharikota, an island off the coast of Andhra Pradesh state in the country’s southeast, and placed a communication satellite into orbit.
The space agency’s director, A.S. Kiran Kumar, said it is the heaviest rocket and satellite to be launched from India. The rocket is powered by an indigenous engine that uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as fuel, he said. In the past, India has used French rockets to launch its heavier communication satellites.