India successfully launched its heaviest-ever rocket GSLV-Mk III on Monday which it hopes will eventually be able to carry astronauts into space, a feat that only Russia, the United States and China have achieved, space agency ISRO said.
The Indian Space Research Organization said the 43-metre (140-foot) Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III rocket lifted off at 5:28 pm from the space launch centre in Sriharikota, an island off the coast of Andhra Pradesh, and placed a communication satellite into orbit.
Scientists hugged each other and cheered as the 640-tonne rocket lifted off.
In 1979, the launch of the Satellite Launch Vehicle-3 or SLV-3 ended in failure.
In 1993 the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV ended in the sea on its launch.
In 2001, the maiden launch of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle ended in failure.