Space: October 22, 2003


While China grabbed the headlines on October 15 by putting a man into orbit, India did something far more practical two days later. Using an Indian made booster, India put a 1.3 ton scientific satellite (named Resourcesat-1) into orbit. India spent several decades working on a satellite booster before it achieved its first successful launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in 1993. The recent launch cost about $20 million, which is quite inexpensive. India already has several satellites in orbit, mainly for keeping an eye on weather and the condition of crops. The four stage PSLV weighs 300 tons and uses solid and liquid fuel engines. Resourcesat-1 is the seventh satellite launched by an PSLV. India is planning an unmanned mission to the moon in 2008.


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