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India launches rocket with hopes of human missions in future

India's space agency is launching a rocket carrying a communication satellite.

The Indian Space Research Organisation said the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III rocket will lift off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh state on the south-eastern coast.

Scientists say the rocket could be used in future to carry an astronaut into space, something only Russia, the United States and China have done.

India hopes the successful launch of the satellite, which weighs 3,136kg, will expand its commercial launch business. In the past, India has used French rockets to launch its heavier communication satellites.

Space agency chairman AS Kiran Kumar said it is "the heaviest-ever rocket and satellite to be launched from the country".

The rocket is powered by an indigenous engine that uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as propellants, Mr Kumar said.

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