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India and Space Transportation Systems

Following on the heels of the first successful launch of its Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) in 1992, India tested the more capable Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) during 1993-1994, achieving success on the second attempt. Coupled with another ASLV mission in 1994, India's three launch attempts in the two-year period represented its most active campaign since its indigenous space program began in 1979 (Figure 2.10). Meanwhile, the development of India's substantially larger Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) continues toward a projected maiden flight later in this decade.

All Indian space launches are conducted from the Sriharikota High Altitude Range (SHAR) on Sritharikota Island off the east coast of India in the Bay of Bengal. The original SLV-3 launch complex was converted to support the ASLV. Two new complexes with one pad each to the south were selected to support the PSLV and GSLV. The Vikran Sarabhai Space Center at the southern tip of India is the site of most launch vehicle stage development.

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