India successfully launched its largest rocket ever launched, sending an unmanned capsule that could one day send astronauts into space.
The rocket, designed to bring heavy satellites to a higher orbit, was launched from Sriharikote in the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh.
“It was a very significant day in the history of the Indian space program,” said Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (IOCA).
Currently, the Indian space program is on the rise, as in September the Indian spacecraft successfully reached Mars, winning the space race in Asia.
New missiles weighing 630 tons are ways to deliver a payload of up to 4 tons and are an attempt by India to grab a large share of the global space market. "India! We have a new launch vehicle. We did it again," said S. Somnath, the mission director.
The rocket carried the unmanned capsule, which successfully separated from the rocket and splashed down in the Bay of Bengal off the east coast of India 20 minutes after the launch.
The Indian capsule is designed to carry up to three astronauts into space.
Officials from the Indian Space Research Organization said the capsule was lifted from the sea and shipped to Sriharikotu on Friday for further research.
India’s manned space flight program has experienced several ups and downs over the past few years, and it will take at least another seven years to send the first astronaut into space.