Rocket shot seen as gate­way to manned space mis­sions

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

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.

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