GSLV MISSION FAILS

December 26th, 2010 by Ravi Matah | Posted in News   No Comments »
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Sriharikota: It’s a jolt to the Indian Space programme that the GSLV-F06 exploded mid-air minutes after lift-off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 4 pm on Saturday.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) witnessed a failure when India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) blew up shortly after lift-off. This is perhaps the biggest failure for ISRO so far.

GSLV-F06, powered by Russian cryogenic engine, lifted off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 4:04 PM on Saturday evening after the 29-hour countdown.

But the rocket deviated from its intended path and exploded mid-air destroying the Rs 125 crore communication satellite GSAT-5P.

ISRO sources said the rocket failed due to a technical glitch in the first stage of the lift-off.

GSAT-5P with 24 C-band transponders and 12 extended C-band transponders was to ensure continuity of telecom, television and weather services.

“When destruct command was given, the vehicle was at a distance of 2.5 km from Sriharikota coastline. The debris has fallen into the sea,” ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said during a press briefing.

“When we looked at the initial data, the control command signal from onboard computer failed to reach the launch vehicle during first stage. What caused this interruption after 47 seconds after take-off has to be studied in detail,” he added.

Radhakrishnan said, “We hope to get an assessment of what triggered this.”

The satellite, GSAT-5P, was expected to fulfill telecommunication and weather needs and was built at a cost of Rs. 150 crore. It was eventually expected to replace INSAT-2E that was sent up in 1999.

The satellite, developed by ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore, was the fifth in the GSAT series. It had a designed mission life of 12 years. This is GSLV’s third unsuccessful mission.

The launch of the satellite, which was originally scheduled for December 20, had been postponed after a leak in the Russian cryogenic engine on board the launch vehicle.

An earlier attempt, powered by a Russian cryogenic engine, failed in July 2006 while a more recent attempt in April this year with India’s first indigenous cryogenic engine deviated after take-off.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) suffered a major setback on Saturday when the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F06 launch vehicle failed to put communication satellite GSAT-5P in orbit.

This is the second failure this year for ISRO after the previous GSLV mission with the country’s maiden cryogenic engine hit a snag and the rocket plunged into the Bay of Bengal on April 15 this year.

The failure of the GSLV has given a message for the scientists in the ISRO. It surely is not a financial loss to the nation . By this loss the scientists will know their mistakes and rectify their faults to ensure that the next launch of this kind goes off smoothly. There is nothing to feel sorry about this GSLV failure. India will be surely successful in its next attempt later.

Ravi Matah.

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