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India Gets Biggest Bird In Orbit Yet

Bangalore, India (AFP) Dec 22, 2005
India's heaviest satellite has been launched successfully by an European Ariane-5 rocket from French Guiana, the Indian Space Research Organisation announced Thursday

The rocket launched late Wednesday placed the INSAT-4 satellite along with a European meteorological satellite, EUMETSAT, into orbit about 30 minutes after lift-off, the organisation said in a statement.

It said the satellite, weighing 3,080 kilograms (6,776-pounds), would meet the needs of direct-to-home broadcasters and communication services.

"The master control facility acquired the first signals from the satellite. Initial checks indicated normal health of the satellite," the statement said.

"When the satellite reaches near geosynchronous orbit, deployment of its solar panels will be carried out...and this will be followed by trim manoeuvres to take the satellite to the designated orbital slot."

India has the world's biggest civilian cluster of remote sensing satellites.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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India Approves Launch Of Seven Satellite Launch Vehicles
New Delhi (AFP) Dec 17, 2005
India's cabinet has authorised the nation's space agency, ISRO, to launch seven satellite launch vehicles, a report said Saturday. India, which wants to become a niche player in the global space communications market, had earlier announced plans to launch up to one dozen satellites over the next four years.

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