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India launches GSLV Mark 3 on successful test flight
Posted: Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 8:01 AM ET (1301 GMT)
GSLV Mark 3 on first launch (ISRO) An upgraded version of India's most powerful launch vehicle successfully carried out a suborbital test flight on Thursday. The GSLV Mark 3 rocket, also known as LVM3, lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center at 11:00 pm EST Wednesday (0400 GMT, 9:30 am Indian time Thursday) on a suborbital test flight. The vehicle's two solid rocket boosters and its core stage engine performed well, Indian space agency officials said after the brief flight. The rocket carried a 3,775-kilogram spacecraft called the Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE), a prototype of a future potential Indian human spacecraft. CARE splashed down in the Bay of Bengal 20 minutes after launch after flying to a peak altitude of 126 kilometers on its suborbital arc. The rocket flew only a dummy upper stage on Thursday's flight; an operational cryogenic upper stage will be flown on a test flight in two years. The GSLV Mark III will ultimately be able to carry satellites weighing up to four tonnes into geosynchronous orbit, and could be used for launches of crewed spacecraft.
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