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India to launch third generation GSLV

The third-generation Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mk III), scheduled to undertake its first flight in 2007-08, will equip India with a rocket capable of putting a man in space, said Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman G Madhavan Nair.

In another indication that India is readying all the elements for such a mission, Mr Nair stated that ISRO would be able to demonstrate by 2005 the capability to recover a space capsule from orbit.

The GSLV Mk III, capable of launching a four-tonne satellite into the geo-synchronous transfer orbit, would be the workhorse of the Indian space programme for the next 10-15 years. India is now capable of launching satellites at 70-80 per cent of international costs, which will come down to 50 per cent once GSLV Mk III is in operation.