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ISRO launches Israeli satellite

Sriharikota, Jan 21 (IANS) Israeli satellite Polaris was successfully launched by India’s space agency ISRO from this launch centre in southern Andhra Pradesh Monday morning.

‘The Israeli satellite was launched at 0915 hours using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV),’ a top official of the Indian Space Research Organisation told IANS over phone from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, about 80 km north of the Tamil Nadu capital Chennai.

‘It was a perfect launch in fine weather,’ the official added.

The satellite has a payload of 340 kg.

The PSLV has a ‘core alone’ configuration, only the second time such a configuration has been tried by ISRO. The first time was with the Italian Agile satellite April 2007, with PSLV C-8.

The core-alone PSLV weighs 230 tonnes, and can put satellites up to 600 kg into orbit.

The Polaris is considered a spy satellite by many countries in the Gulf and Pakistan, who were opposed to India carrying out the launch. It was scheduled to go up in September 2007 but had been put off to October. It was then rescheduled again for January 2008.