SRIHARIKOTA (Andhra Pradesh), June 5 - India today scripted history as it successfully launched its most powerful and heaviest geostationary rocket carrying advanced communication satellite GSAT-19 from the spaceport here.
On its maiden development flight, the 43.43-metre-tall three-stage GSLV MkIII-D1, expected to be the choice of India for taking humans into space in future, lifted off at 5.28 pm from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here, about 125 km from Chennai.
Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (MkIII D-1) injected the 3,136-kg GSAT-19, the heaviest satellite to be launched from the country yet, into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit about 16 minutes later.
It was a textbook launch as every stage of the three- stage GSLV MkIII with indigenous cryogenic engine, performed without any flaw after the powerful rocket blasted off at the end of 25-and-half-hour countdown, that began last evening, leaving plumes of smoke and soared into sky.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists broke into thunderous applause as the complex mission was declared a success, brightening chances of India increasing its share in the commercial launch market.
GSLV MkIII can orbit payloads or satellites weighing up to 4,000 kg into the GTO and 10,000 kg into Low Earth Orbit.
A beaming ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar termed it as �a historic day� and said the GSLV MkIII D-1 has successfully demonstrated its capabilities with the injection of GSAT-19 into the desired orbit.
�It is a great success in the maiden attempt and GSLV MkIII has successfully put in orbit GSAT-19 which is a next generation satellite.�
�I wish to congratulate the entire team which has relentlessly worked each day for today�s launch from 2002,� he said.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi hailed the successful launch of GSLV MkIII D1 and GSAT-19. � PTI