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Anand Mahindra praises ISRO as UK's groundbreaking space mission ends in failure

As a groundbreaking British satellite launch ended in bitter disappointment early on Tuesday, Indian businessman Anand Mahindra has lavished praise on ISRO. The Mahindra Group chairman took to Twitter on Tuesday morning, highlighting the launch record of the Indian Space Research Organisation.

“I recognise that this was a very different type of orbital launch but it stills tells me how much more we should appreciate and admire the launch record of ISRO," the billionaire businessman tweeted in response to a news update about the launch of UK's first rocket taking satellites into space.

The country's bid to become the first European nation to launch satellites into space went awry on Tuesday, with Virgin Orbit stating that its rocket had suffered an anomaly that prevented it from reaching orbit.

The "horizontal launch" mission had left from the coastal town of Newquay in southwest England, with their LauncherOne rocket carried under the wing of a modified Boeing 747 called "Cosmic Girl", and later released over the Atlantic Ocean. Following the glitch, Cosmic Girl returned to Spaceport Cornwall with the crew.

The company partly-owned by British billionaire Richard Branson, had planned to deploy nine small satellites into lower Earth orbit in its first mission outside its United States base.

Europe has suffered a series of setbacks in the past year, with an Italian-built Vega-C rocket mission failing after lift-off from French Guiana in late December. Its key Ariane 6 launcher has been delayed, access to Russian Soyuz rockets has been blocked by the Ukraine war and Italy's Vega rockets have been grounded.

Meanwhile, the Indian space agency has a slew of projects scheduled for 2023. ISRO is planning a second development mall Satellite Launch Vehicle flight next month after an unsuccessful bid in August last year. The space agency will also test the satellite-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast receiver system onboard the SSLV.

The flight SSLV is likely to be held next month, and if successful, would allow ISRO to provide on demand launch services for smaller satellites weighing from 10 kg to 500 kg.

Edited by Ragul Senthil

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