India launches first commercial rocket

April 23, 2007

India's first commercial rocket was fired into space Monday, carrying a 776-pound Italian satellite that will collect data on the origins of the universe.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket took off from the Sriharikota launch pad in India's southern state of Andhra Pradesh, the Press Trust of India reported.

Separately, the BBC reported scientists at the Indian Space Research Organization broke out into spontaneous applause when the rocket lifted off into a clear blue sky.

In his message to ISRO chairman Gopalan Madhavan Nair, state Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy said, "The space scientists made India proud with their excellent performance in the first ever launch of (the satellite) atop India's workhorse rocket," the PTI report said.

The satellite AGILE was launched 23 minutes after the rocket's takeoff. The BBC said India reportedly is being paid $11 million to launch the Italian satellite.

Other media reports said with the latest launch, India has joined the United States, Russia, France, China and Japan with similar achievements.

ISRO's future plans include sending an unmanned mission to the Moon next year.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Looking back at the Mir space station

Related Stories

Looking back at the Mir space station

June 18, 2015

The Mir Space Station was Russia's greatest space station, and the first modular space station to be assembled in orbit. Commissioned in 1986, the name can be translated from Russian as "peace", "world", and even "village" ...

High hopes ride on satellite start-up

May 19, 2015

UNSW aerospace engineering student Solange Cunin has a plan to make access to space easier and more affordable. She also hopes to boost Australia's nascent space industry.

Bringing NASA satellite data down to Earth

May 6, 2015

NASA didn't have Wicked Joe Coffee Roasting Company in mind as the agency launched hundreds of instruments into Earth orbit over the years. But thanks to a NASA website that tailors satellite-derived data for practical applications, ...

India launches seven satellites: space agency

September 23, 2009

India successfully launched seven satellites including six from foreign countries on Wednesday, officials said, underlining the country's ambitions in the space business.

India launches satellite for new navigation system

July 2, 2013

India launched the first of seven satellites for its domestic satellite navigation network Tuesday, its space centre said, in the first step to creating a scaled down version of the US Global Positioning System.

Recommended for you

First detection of lithium from an exploding star

July 29, 2015

The chemical element lithium has been found for the first time in material ejected by a nova. Observations of Nova Centauri 2013 made using telescopes at ESO's La Silla Observatory, and near Santiago in Chile, help to explain ...

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories

July 29, 2015

The coalescence of two black holes—a very violent and exotic event—is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. But, as these mergers emit no light of any kind, finding such elusive events has been ...

New names and insights at Ceres

July 29, 2015

Colorful new maps of Ceres, based on data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, showcase a diverse topography, with height differences between crater bottoms and mountain peaks as great as 9 miles (15 kilometers).

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.