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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D3) FAILS

Not so a good news to hear from Sriharikota. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) suffered a major setback as the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D3), which was launched using an Indian-designed and built cryogenic engine for the first time, failed. The rocket lifted from the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) launch pad in Sriharikota at 1627 hrs IST. The indigenous cryogenic engine ignited on time 304 seconds after the lift-off but the two steering engines of the cryogenic stage appeared not to have ignited.

These two steering engines control the pitch, roll and yaw of the rocket. K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation told the ISRO scientists and engineers in the mission control centre that the performance of the vehicle was normal up to the second stage. And it was speeding at a velocity of 4.9 km per second. Indications were that the cryogenic engine ignited. "However, we saw the vehicle tumbling and losing control as the two vernier (steering) engines may not have ignited. We will put all efforts to ensure that the next flight with the indigenous cryogenic engine takes place within a year", he said."

Dr. Radhakrishnan added that ISRO took 18 years to develop this complex cryogenic technology. He said it would have be confirmed whether the cryogenic engine ignited
The GSLV-D3 is the sixth flight of ISRO's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) as well as its third developmental flight. In this flight, GSLV was scheduled to launch 2220 kg GSAT-4, an experimental advanced technology communication satellite. This was to be the maiden flight of GSLV usingthe indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS). In the past five flights of GSLV, Cryogenic Stages (CS) procured from Russia were used. GSLV was designed to inject 2 ton class of communication satellites to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).The 50 m tall GSLV, with a lift-off mass of 416 ton, is a three-stage vehicle with solid, liquid and cryogenic stages.

This ambitious attempt received a set back as the homegrown rocket deviated from path within seconds of lift-off

The rocket was 49 meters tall and weighs 419 tonnes. The rocket was carrying communication satellite GSAT-4 and others weighing more than two tonnes. Till now ISRO had been using Russian cryogenic engines in its GSLV missions as the United States had forced Moscow not to sell the cryogenic technology to India in 1992.

Sure that our Scientists will bounce back rectifying all the flaws and we should stand by them.

Regards – Sampathkumar S

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