India launches seven satellites

Washington DC
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The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully launched seven satellites using a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from the Sriharikota launch site on India's eastern coast.

The largest payload was the Satellite with Argos and Altika (SARAL), an ocean altimetry satellite constructed by the ISRO and French space agency. Six smaller satellites, including Canadian satellites for spotting space objects and several university research projects, were also launched.

The launch marks PSLV's 23rd flight. The vehicle was launched as a core only, without solid rocket boosters that often accompany heavier payloads.

India has had mixed success in its long space launch history, but has in recent years began funding space programmes in earnest and chalked up some notable successes, second only to China in the trend of developing nations accessing space.

PSLV is the smaller of two Indian launch vehicles, meant to launch satellites on polar, sun-synchronous trajectories, ideal for Earth observation. The larger Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) sends satellites out much further to geostationary orbit, normally used for large communications satellites.