Indian Telecom Satellite Disintegrates at Blastoff

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

India’s attempts to launch its heaviest satellite failed Monday, when the rocket carrying it went into a tailspin about a minute after blastoff and disintegrated, a space official said.

Scientists at the control center were stunned into silence as the rocket carrying the 2.2-ton telecommunications satellite veered off its course.

The satellite was designed for a mission life of 10 years and was aimed at boosting television services. If the launch had been successful, it would have given India a chance to take a slice of the $2-billion global satellite launch market.