India completes 100th space mission

Sept. 9, 2012 at 9:56 PM
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NEW DELHI, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- India's space agency marked its 100th mission Sunday when it successfully placed two foreign satellites in orbit around the Earth.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who watched the Sunday launch of the French and Japanese satellites, called the mission a "spectacular success" and congratulated the scientists at the Department of Space and the Indian Space Research Organization.

The polar satellite launch vehicle PSLV-C21, which took off from the Sriharikota launch site in India's eastern coastal Andhra Pradesh state, first put France's 1,570-pound SPOT-6 Earth observation satellite in orbit, followed seconds later by Japan's 33-pound Proiteres micro-satellite, The Hindu reported. The four-stage ignition and satellite launching took a total of 18 minutes and 37 seconds.

"India is justly proud of its space scientists who have overcome many odds to develop our own technology for space missions," Singh said.

ISRO's first space mission was in 1975 when it launched its first satellite Aryabhata. With the completion of its 100th unmanned mission, the agency has launched 62 Indian and 29 foreign satellites from Sriharikota and foreign launch pads.

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