NEW DELHI, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) — India Thursday scripted a twin success by successfully launching its advanced weather satellite INSAT-3DR into space on board its heavy-duty rocket fitted with the indigenous cryogenic engine, which undertook its maiden operational flight.
The take-off of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), carrying the 2211-kg weather satellite, took place at 4.50 p.m. local time from the spaceport of Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, after a delay of 40 minutes over an anomaly.
The state-owned Indian Space Reseach Organization (ISRO) announced that INSAT-3DR, with a mission life of 10 years, was successfully put into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit about 17 minutes later.
“Today we have achieved another landmark, the first operational flight of the GSLV and the INSAT- 3DR has been put in orbit. The launch vehicle has performed extremely well,” Kiran Kumar, the head of the space agency, told the media.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently in Laos, has congratulated the space agency on its tweet.
The satellite is special for its imaging capabilities for night-time photos. It also carries a special search and rescue transponder, which will help in satellite-aided rescue operations.
But the success of GSLV was more crucial for the space agency since it will be the vehicle to launch the second moon mission — Chandrayaan-2 — next year. India’s first mission to moon was a huge success.
Cryogenic engines are special rocket engines that use liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as fuel.