India has successfully launched a communications satellite, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) D5, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota off the Bay of Bengal.
The GSLV-D5’s engine was designed and built in India, a triumph for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which has been attempting such a feat since 2001.
Following Sunday’s launch, ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan said: “Today is an important day for space technology in the country. The Indian cryogenic stage performed as expected and injected the satellite to the intended orbit.
“Our toiling of 20 years and excruciating efforts in the last three-and-a-half years have borne fruit,” said Dr Radhakrishnan.
ISRO has now became the sixth space agency in the world after the United States, Russia, Japan, China and France to have success with this type of engine.
The launch comes after the successful launch of the country’s first Mars probe, Mangalyaan, in November last year.