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India to test space crew module, heavy rocket

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The Indian space agency will take its first step towards a manned space mission by testing its third generation heavy rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and also the crew module this year, said a top official.

K. Radhakrishnan, chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said end of May or beginning of June would see the experimental flight of GSLV-Mark III rocket that would be carrying a crew module.

He was the chief guest at the SRM University's Research Day function near here.

The rocket will go up to an altitude of 120 km. The crew module will be tested on its reentry into the atmosphere, he told reporters on the function's sidelines.

He said the purpose of the mission is to do the characterisation of the GSLV-Mark III in the atmospheric stage of the flight.

"The rocket would touch a velocity of 5 km per second. The upper cryogenic stage will be passive," Radhakrishnan said.

He said aerodynamically the experimental rocket will be similar to the real GSLV-Mark III rocket.

On the launch of India's second navigational satellite, Radhakrishnan said the IRNSS-1B (Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System) will be launched after March 31.

According to Radhakrishnan, the navigation satellite will be moved from Bangalore to the rocket port in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh March 3.

He said the satellite will be launched using another rocket called Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

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