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India launches Italian astronomy satellite
Posted: Mon, Apr 23, 2007, 7:55 PM ET (2355 GMT)
PSLV launch of Cartosat-2 and SRE-1 (ISRO) An Indian rocket launched a small Italian astronomy satellite Monday in India's first commercial launch. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 6:00 am EDT (1000 GMT) and placed the AGILE satellite into a near-equatorial 550-kilometer orbit. The 350-kilogram AGILE was built by Carlo Gavazzi Space for the Italian Space Agency and carries a suite of X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy instruments. Also on board the PSLV was an experimental Indian satellite, the Advanced Avionics Module, designed to test advanced launch vehicle avionics systems. The launch was the first commercial launch for India, with Italy paying the Indian space agency ISRO about $10 million for the launch.
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