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India on Sunday, January 5, successfully launched its first rocket using domestically produced booster technology after several previous missions had failed, taking another step forward in its ambitious space program. The 415-ton rocket blasted off from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota and deployed a two-ton advanced communications satellite some 17 minutes after leaving the Earth. “I am extremely proud and happy to say that Team ISRO has done it,” Space Research Organization (ISRO) chairman Dr K. Radhakrishnan announced at mission control in Andhra Pradesh state, sparking a roar of applause from colleagues. India has for years been trying to develop its own cryogenic rocket engines that are designed to put heavier satellites into high orbits, about 36,000 kilometers (22,000 miles) from Earth.
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