India hopes new rocket launched today can carry astronaut in future

India’s space agency Monday successfully launched its heaviest rocket carrying a communication satellite from a launch pad off the country’s southeastern coast.

According to report, the country’s private industries have played a major role in the development of various technologies in India’s fifth generation rocket with heavy lift capabilities – a step towards Modi’s much touted “Make in India” mantra.

The Indian Space Research Organization said the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III rocket lifted off Monday afternoon from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh state.

Scientists say the rocket could be used in the future to carry an astronaut into space, something that only Russia, the United States and China have done.

ISRO officials have said that the GSLV MK III or variants will be the rocket used for the first manned mission by ISRO.

India hopes the successful launch of the satellite, which weighs 3,136 kilograms (6,914 pounds), will expand its commercial launch business. In the past, India has used French rockets to launch its heavier communication satellites.

The space agency’s chairman, A.S. Kiran Kumar, says it is “the heaviest-ever rocket and satellite to be launched from the country,” reported AP.

The rocket is powered by an indigenous engine that uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as propellants, Kumar told reporters.

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