India's GSLV Mk III rocket lifts off on its maiden voyage December 18, 2014 at 11:00 PM EST (9:30AM Indian Standard Time).
The flight was a complete success, testing the new rocket's flight profile, avionics systems and booster technology.
Two S200 solid fuel motors propelled the vehicle off the launch pad, followed by the liquid fuelled L110 core stage. The rocket will eventually boast a cryogenic third stage which will place payloads in their desired orbits.
Russian mission control has lost contact with a satellite full of geckos slated to participate in a weightlessness experiment, in the latest setback for the country's space industry.
The Photon-M satellite and its reptile crew will probably be lost and fall from orbit in a few months unless specialists can re-establish communications with it, a source in the space industry told Interfax news agency. The four female and one male gecko on board will die from hunger within two and a half months or earlier if the craft's life-support systems are also disrupted, the source said.