Saturday, October 6, 2012

Opinion- GSLV issues delay launch of military satellites

Neelam Mathews
Oct 6, 2012

Even as India hails its PSLV successes, slipups in its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle [GSLV], have delayed the launch of the Indian Navy satellite GSAT-7 which will now be launched using an Ariane-5 rocket from the Kourou island in French Guiana. 

The launch is  tentatively scheduled for the end of this year, or the first month of 2013, Aerospace Diary learns. GSAT-7/INSAT-4F is proposed as a multi-band communication satellite carrying payloads in UHF, S-band, C-band and Ku-band. 

On the aerospace command, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne  said:"We need to look at three areas - aerospace, cyber and cooperation.” On the space cell managed by the military, DRDO and ISRO, he noted: “it needs bigger infrastructure…”
Delayed by over a year, GSAT-7A will be launched after GSAT-7is launched. “It will be an air force satellite with some bandwidth for the navy,” said Browne.
Former ISRO chief G. Madhavan Nair had suggested some time ago that qualifying the cryogenic engine for the GSLV should be paramount. His words seem to have evaded ISRO.
In December 2010, the homegrown GSLV-06 vehicle was destroyed by its flight termination system when it veered off course less than a minute after liftoff. The GSAT-5P communications satellite, carrying 24 C-band and 12 extended C-band  transponders, plunged into the Bay of Bengal. In April 2010, the GSLV-D3 carrying GSAT-4, had failed.
The success rate for GSLV becomes a concern after the successive launch failures. “There is a need to  enhance collaboration with international players to provide the economic benefit,  skilled assets while adapting the best international practices in the industry. Such arrangements should help in procuring the right and appropriate equipment as well,” says an official to Aerospace Diary.

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