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India's Experimental Space Capsule Returns to Earth

India's Experimental Space Capsule Returns to Earth
India's Space Capsule Recovery Experiment-1 (SRE-1) is seen here as it is prepared for a Jan. 10, 2007 launch (Local Time). (Image credit: ISRO.)

NEW DELHI (AP) - An Indianspace capsule splashed down in the Bay of Bengal on Monday, giving engineers achance to test technology needed to return astronauts to Earth, an officialsaid.

The capsule orbited earthfor 11 days before re-entering the atmosphere, S. Krishnamurthy, a spokesmanfor the Indian Space Research Organization, told The Associated Press.

The 550-kilogram(1,210-pound) Space-Capsule Recovery Experiment was intended to test theorganization's ability to track and recover a returning space capsule, he said[image].

Recovery efforts wereunderway, he said.

An Indian-developed PolarSatellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C7, tookoff on Jan. 10 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota in thesouthern state of Andhra Pradesh, and successfully deployed three satellites inaddition to the space capsule - India's CARTOSAT-2,Indonesia's LAPAN-TUBSAT and Argentina's PEHUENSAT-1 - into a 635-kilometer(395-mile) high polar orbit, a statement said [image].

India has not announced specific plansfor a manned space mission, but an unmanned moonmission is scheduled for 2008.

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