A rocket blasts off, carrying an Indian Weather satellite. (Courtesy: RTV/DDI/CBS)
India's successfully launched on Friday (July 26) its advanced meteorological satellite INSAT-3D by a European rocket from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana to boost weather forecasting and disaster warning services.
Satellites, INSAT-3D and Alphasat, which is Europe's largest telecommunication satellite-ever manufactured, were launched by the European space consortium Arianespace.
Alphasat was the outcome of a large-scale public-private partnership between the European Space Agency and Inmarsat.
The workhorse vehicle was lifted off at 1.23am IST for a nearly 33-minute flight.
Speaking on the occasion, the chairman of Indian space research organisation (ISRO), K. Radhakrishnan, appreciated the efforts of Arianespace behind the successful launch of INSAT-3D.
"I compliment Arianespace for the successful launch of Ariane 5 EA214 (a rocket) and for successfully placing both INSAT-3D and Alphasat into geosynchronous transfer orbits. This is a milestone in the long standing relationship between ISRO and Arianspace," he said.
According to ISRO, INSAT-3D would add a new dimension to weather monitoring through its atmospheric sounding system. The system would provide vertical profiles of temperature, humidity and integrated ozone from surface to top of the atmosphere.