SRIHARIKOTA: Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Sunday successfully launched GSLV-D5 rocket, which is powered by an indigenous cryogenic engine, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
Seventeen minutes after liftoff at 4.18pm, the rocket successfully injected GSAT-14 communication satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit.
Isro chairman K Radhakrishnan declared the mission a success. He said, "This shows the maturity of the team. We dedicate the proud moment for the country."
"The launch has been so precise that the satellite was put just 40 metres within the 179km perigee and only 50km of the 36,000km apogee," mission director K Sivan said.
Isro achieved the feat after two failures earlier. While India has mastered the PSLV range of rockets with a string of 25 consecutive successes, GSLV, which can carry heavier payloads including humans to space, has remained a challenge.
In April 2010, Isro tested its first indigenous cryogenic engine, but it failed a little less than a second after the cryogenic stage ignited. A refurbished GSLV-D5 was to be launched in August 2013, but a leak in the liquid fuel tank forced the mission to be aborted two hours before the rocket was to lift off.
India had got seven cryogenic engines from Russia, and Isro has used six of them. With no affordable supply coming from abroad, India felt the necessity to develop its own cryogenic engine, which uses liquid hydrogen as fuel and liquid oxygen and oxidizer.
Cryogenics, the science of extremely low temperatures, has posed a challenge to rocket scientists across the world.