India launches first space observatory


BANGALORE, India: India successfully launched on Monday its first high-tech telescopes into space to study the stars, as New Delhi seeks to take another major step in its ambitious and low-cost space program. A rocket carrying the 150-ton mini space observatory called Astrosat, along with six foreign satellites, blasted off on schedule from India’s main southern spaceport of Sriharikota. “About 20 minutes after a perfect lift off at 10 am from our spaceport, the rocket has placed Astrosat in the intended orbit,” mission director B. Jayakumar said at Sriharikota, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) from Chennai. The launch comes one year after India became the first Asian country to launch a successful mission to Mars to study the Red Planet, beating giant rival China and sparking an outpouring of national pride.



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