Launch of India’s big rocket a success

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The competition heats up: India has successfully launched a military communications satellite using its home-built Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

Because of India’s bad habit of not giving distinct names to its space vehicles or spacecraft, I have discovered a bit a confusion about the version of GSLV that just launched. This rocket was built entirely in India, but it is the Mark II, not the Mark III, which is a significant upgrade and has so far only had one test flight.

Nonetheless, today’s Mark II launch is the second success in a row for the India-built version. Considering the number of failures of this version in the past, this success is a significant milestone for India’s space effort.

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