ISRO Cryogenic Launch Fails; GSAT-4 Lost
[Satellite TODAY 04-16-10] The launch of Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) GSLV-D3 rocket carrying the GSAT-4 communications satellite has failed due to a third-stage engine malfunction that resulted in total loss of control of the spacecraft, the ISRO announced April 15.
The engine failure happened just minutes after blastoff, which caused the rocket to tumble uncontrollably back to Earth. “Detailed analysis of the data will be carried out to find out the reason for non-ignition of two engines” G. Radhakrishnan, head of ISRO, said in a statement.
ISRO’s GSLV-D3 mission aimed to debut an Indian-made cryogenic engine in efforts to expand India’s satellite launch business to about $120 million a year and end the country’s dependence on Russian-built cryogenic engines for lifting heavy payloads. The GSAT-4 satellite carried a multi-beam Ka-band bent pipe and regenerative transponder and navigation payload in multiple bands to guide civil and military aircraft.
This is the second major failure for ISRO within the past 12 months, after its $82 million unmanned Chandrayaan-1 mission ended last August after ISRO failed to restore contact with the spacecraft.
Radhakrishnan said that ISRO plans to spend the next year recovering from these setbacks.
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