Indian commerical rocket lifts off

Carrying of an Italian satellite blasts India into lucrative satellite launch business.

    India wants a share of the commercial satellite launch services market worth $2.5 billion a year [AFP]

    The Indian Space Research Organisation, which runs India's space programme, charged $11 million for Monday's launch of the Italian satellite, the Press Trust of India said.
     
    The 352kg satellite will be used to gather information about the origins of the universe.
     
    Indian space programme
     
    India started its space programme in 1963, and has since developed and put its own satellites into space.
     
    It has also designed and built launch rockets to reduce its dependence on overseas space agencies.
     
    It carried out the first successful launch of a domestic satellite, which weighed 35 kg, by a home-built rocket in 1980.
     
    The PSLV that carried the Italian payload into space has carried out nine successful launches since 1994 - including eight remote-sensing and one amateur radio satellite - and is known as the workhorse of the Indian space programme.
     
    Capable of placing 1,500-kg satellites into orbit, the rocket has been modified to launch the much smaller Agile, together with which it will carry a space module to test avionic systems like mission computers and navigation systems.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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