Sunday, December 26, 2010

GSLV Launch Fails on Christmas Day

AWIN First Dec 25 , 2010
Neelam Mathews
New Delhi

The Indian Space Research Organization suffered its second consecutive failure of its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F06) this year as the rocket developed a technical fault after liftoff and plunged into the Bay of Bengal.

The communication satellite GSAT-5P, weighing 2,130 kg, with 24 C-band transponders and 12 extended C-band transponders was to replace the INSAT-2E satellite, put in orbit in 1999. It was also the heaviest satellite launched by an Indian launch vehicle.

The rocket was launched from India’s only spaceport at Sriharikota from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, 100 km from Chennai.

ISRO was using a Russian cryogenic engine which developed a leak and as a result the launch was postponed from Dec. 20 to 25.

“Whether it is strap-ons or transition between first and second stage, one doesn’t know,” a space scientist says.

“The performance of the vehicle was normal up to 50 seconds into flight. Soon after, the vehicle developed large altitude errors...leading to breaking up of the vehicle,” said K. Radhakrishnan, ISRO chairman.

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