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New rocket with Russian cryogenic engine to be launched in India on Wednesday

A second attempt to launch an Indian rocket of a new type with a Russian-made cryogenic engine will be made in India on Wednesday, the RIA Novosti correspondent reports. According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the start is fixed for 15.43 local time. But the scientists have envisaged a "time window" till 19.30 "for possible pre-start surprises". The first attempt to launch a rocket, made at the space centre in Sriharikota (in the south of Andhra Pradesh state 100 kilometres from capital of Tamil Nadu state Madras) on March 28, was unsuccessful. It was interrupted by computer a second before the start, since one of the engines of the booster-rocket had failed to develop the sufficient level of thrust. In case of success the three-stage 49-metre rocket weighing 410 tons, the largest ever designed by the ISRO specialists, must put the GSAT-1 experimental communication satellite weighing 1,540 kg into a geostationary orbit. The fact that a cryogenic engine of the third stage is used in this start for the first ever time makes it particularly important. In the local specialists' opinion, a successful launch will be the culmination of the ISRO's efforts to develop a powerful Indian rocket, and marks an important stage in the development of rocket technology. This will allow India to enter the "elite space club" which includes Russia, the USA, the European Union, China and Japan. The project which the Indian specialists have been working on since 1991 cost the treasury 14 billion rupees (more than 300 million dollars). About 150 local private and state companies-producers and suppliers participate in it. From 1979 India has made thirteen launches of booster-rockets, with only nine of them being successful.

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