Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
WEDNESDAY, 23 APR 2014
11:38 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
International
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
India successfully launches cutting-edge cryogenic rocket
Agence France Presse
(FILES) This handout photograph released by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on November 6, 2013, shows the PSLV-C25 rocket carrying the Mars Orbiter Spacecraft blasting off from the launch pad at Sriharikota on November 5, 2013. AFP PHOTO / ISRO
(FILES) This handout photograph released by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on November 6, 2013, shows the PSLV-C25 rocket carrying the Mars Orbiter Spacecraft blasting off from the launch pad at Sriharikota on November 5, 2013. AFP PHOTO / ISRO
A+ A-

BANGALORE, India: India on Sunday successfully launched its first rocket using domestically produced booster technology after several previous missions had failed, taking another step forward in its ambitious space program.

The Indian-made cryogenically-powered rocket blasted off from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota as scheduled, as Delhi tries to join an elite club of countries which have mastered the complex technology.

The 415-tonne rocket deployed a two-tonne advanced communications satellite some 17 minutes after blast-off, said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman Dr K. Radhakrishnan.

"I am extremely proud and happy to say that Team ISRO has done it," Radhakrishnan announced at mission control in Andhra Pradesh state, sparking a roar of applause from colleagues.

"Team ISRO and the project directors all have put their heart and soul in making this proud moment for the country," he said.

India has for years been trying to develop its own cryogenic rocket engines that are designed to put heavier satellites into high orbits, about 36,000 kilometres (22,000 miles) from Earth.

The powerful booster technology, using super-cooled liquid fuel, is a much needed tool to help India capture a larger share of the lucrative global market for launching commercial satellites.

But the technology has only been successfully developed by a handful of countries including the United States, Russia, France, Japan and China as well as the European Space Agency.

India's project has had to overcome a string of hurdles and mishaps, including an aborted launch in August last year several hours before lift-off after fuel was found to be leaking from one of the rocket's engines.

The first India-built rocket crashed into the Bay of Bengal just minutes after take-off in April 2010 after the cryogenic engines failed to ignite.

"If we succeed this time, India will join a select club of space-faring nations with indigenous cryogenic engine capability to launch above two-tonne class satellites," ISRO director Deviprasad Karnik told AFP before the launch.

"The twin purpose of this launch mission is to flight-test once again our own cryogenic engine and put into the geostationary orbit a heavy communication satellite," Karnik added.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh congratulated the team on Sunday's mission, which cost 3.65 billion rupees ($58 million) -- 2.2 billion rupees for the rocket and 1.45 billion rupees for the satellite.

"It is yet another important step that the country has taken in the area of science and technology," Singh said in a tweet.

In November India successfully lifted into orbit a spacecraft bound for Mars as it tries to become the first Asian nation to reach the Red Planet.

It has taken ISRO scientists years to develop cryogenic motors after India's attempt to import the technology from Russia in 1992 failed because of opposition from the United States.

Since 2001 India has bought cryogenic engines from Russia and seven of them have been used on missions.

An Indian space rocket using a Russian-built booster exploded shortly after launch in December 2010, also during a mission to put an advanced communications satellite into space.

ISRO pushed ahead with developing its own engine, including the third and final part, fuelled with a mix of oxygen and hydrogen in liquid form and kept at a very low temperature.

"A cryogenic rocket stage is more efficient and provides more thrust for every kilogram of propellant it burns compared to other solid and liquid fuel stages," Karnik said.

India's first satellite launch, of an Italian satellite, was in 2007.

The country sees its space program as an achievement that highlights its emergence as a major world economy, and many citizens take great pride in it.

But the cost of the program has attracted criticism as the government struggles to tackle poverty and child malnutrition.

 
Home International
 
     
 
India
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Wednesday, April 23, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS