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India launches 100th space mission

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 10th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

India has set a new world record with its 100th official successful space launch. India's national space organization marked the milestone by successfully launching two new satellites. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has lauded as a "spectacular success."

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - India has had an active space program since the Sixties. India has launched scores of satellites for itself and other countries.

Prime Minister Singh congratulated the team at the ISRO at Sriharikota hailing the achievement as "a milestone in our nation's space capabilities." 

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C21 launched on Sunday blasted into the sky carrying a French observation satellite and a Japanese microsatellite. Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organization were in a celebratory mood.

"India is justly proud of its space scientists, who have overcome immense odds to set up world class facilities and develop advanced technologies. We owe a great deal to pioneers like Dr. Vikram Sarabhai and Professor Satish Dhawan," Singh said.

While it may come as a surprise to many, India is one of the few developing countries with a space program. The Indian government has spent billions of dollars on the project.

"I would also like to congratulate European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) Astrium of France and Osaka Institute of Technology of Japan for the successful launch of their satellites," Singh said.

"The launch of these satellites on board an Indian launch vehicle is testimony to the commercial competitiveness of the Indian space industry and is a tribute to Indian innovation and ingenuity," the prime minister added.

The nation of India has since announced plans to join a small group of nations already exploring Mars by sending a satellite via an unmanned spacecraft to orbit the planet.

A rocket will blast off from the south eastern coast of India, dropping the satellite into deep space, which will then travel to Mars to achieve orbit.

India's space exploration program has come a long way from its humble beginnings. India' nascent space industry first saw scientists operating out of a cow shed.

India's Chandrayaan satellite found evidence of water on the moon four years ago. India is also looking at landing a wheeled rover on the Moon in 2014.

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