India on Sunday successfully launched its latest communications satellite, Insat-4CR, into orbit, reports quoting scientists at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said.
The satellite was carried onboard a 49-metre tall Geo Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV-F04, which soared into the sky at 6.21 pm (1251 GMT) from the Sriharikota space station, 80 kilometres north of the southern city of Chennai.
Some 18 minutes after lift-off, the rocket placed the Insat-4CRm, which is expected to digital communications in India, into orbit, the scientists told PTI news agency.
The launch, which follows a failed attempt last July, was delayed by two hours as scientists tried to overcome what the news agency described as "a technical snag in parametres related to the launch."
The satellite, which weighs 2,130 kilogrammes and has a lifespan of 10 years, is expected to boost direct-to-home television broadcasts, digital news gathering services and high-bit rate data transmission in India.
Its 12 wideband channels allow digital transmission on each at the same time by several audio and video networks, according to reports.
India's space community was on tenterhooks after the 24-hour countdown began Saturday as scientists prepared for the 49-million- dollar mission.
On 10 July 2006, the GSLV rocket carrying the Insat satellite plunged into the Bay of Bengal when the mission was aborted midway after it deviated from its flight path.
An ISRO panel probing the failure concluded that a manufacturing error had caused the failure, emphasizing there was nothing wrong with the design of the vehicle.
Earlier this year, ISRO successfully placed an Italian astronomical satellite into orbit, marking India's entry into an exclusive group of nations conducting commercial space launches.
The ISRO already has 10 satellites in orbit and with a mission to the moon being planned for early next year, plans to compete with the space agencies from the United States, Russia, China and the European Union.
Last Mod: 03 Eylül 2007, 10:50