India launches rocket to test satellite re-entry

India launched a rocket carrying a satellite designed to test re-entry vehicle technology that could be used in a future manned space mission, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the red-and-white rocket climbed into space from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh to the cheers of scientists and engineers at mission control.

The rocket also put the first Indonesian-built satellite into space, Indonesian officials said.

The rocket carried the 1,210-pound Space Capsule Recovery Experiment, or SRE-1, designed to test re-entry technology, the ISRO said.

The capsule will orbit Earth for 13 to 30 days before re-entering the atmosphere and plunging into the Bay of Bengal off India's east coast, where it will be recovered, the statement said.

It will test technology for 'navigation, guidance and control during the re-entry phase,' the Associated Press report said.

The rocket also carried an Indian remote-sensing satellite and two foreign-built satellites _ the Lapan-Tubsat from Indonesia and the Argentine-built Pehuensat-1.

The Pehuensat-1 is a 13-pound Argentine nano-satellite built by the University of It is intended to provide a platform to perform amateur radio experiments between the country's colleges and universities, ISRO said.

All four satellites were successfully placed in orbit, said mission director K. Narayanamurthy.

The launch was the first since July, when an attempt to launch a communications satellite failed after the rocket veered off course in the separation stage and exploded, the report further said.

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