SRIHARIKOTA (AP), Jan 5 � India today successfully launched its heavy-duty rocket having indigenous cryogenic engine that placed a communication satellite into the orbit, with ISRO scientists finally taming the �naughty boy� GSLV and propelling the country into an elite club, reports PTI.
The mission, which cost around Rs 360 crore, is a major milestone for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) after �toiling� for 20 years and ended the jinx plaguing the GSLV programme which suffered twin back-to-back failures in 2010 while its launch in August last year was aborted at the last minute.
�This is another major achievement for the GSLV programme and I would say this is an important day for science and technology, for space technology in the country (as) 20 years of efforts in realising the cryogenic engine and stage has now fructified,� a visibly relieved ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan said.
In a textbook launch, the 49.13-metre tall GSLV D5 rocket with an indigenous cryogenic engine and stage blasted off at 4.18 PM from Satish Dhawan Space Centre and injected the 1,982-kg GSAT-14 communication satellite into the intended orbit after 17.13 minutes flight.
With this launch, India became the sixth space agency in the world after the US, Russia, Japan, China and France to have joined the indigenous cryogenic regime. The technology will help to launch heavy satellites into geostationary orbit.
Congratulating the scientists, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the launch marked �another important step that the country has taken in the area of science and technology�.
Radhakrishnan said ISRO�s �toiling of 20 years,� after its first test flight of the cryogenic engine and all the efforts by Team ISRO in the last few years in understanding Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle and making it a liable vehicle showed the scientists� maturity.