New Delhi: India has successfully launched its first rocket using domestically-produced booster technology, taking another step forward in its ambitious space programme.
Here is your 10-point cheat-sheet to this big story:
- The home-made cryogenically-powered rocket, the GSLV-D5, blasted off from the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh as scheduled on Sunday.
- India has now joined an elite club of countries which have mastered the complex technology.
- 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.
- India's project has endured 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 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.
- 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 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.
- The mission has cost India Rs 365 crore - Rs 220 crore for the rocket and Rs 145 crore for the satellite.
- 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.
- 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.
Story First Published: January 06, 2014 12:51 IST