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ISRO Fails To Put Gisat-1 In Orbit As Cryogenic Stage Fails To Ignite

The Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) mission to launch Geo Imaging Satellite (Gisat-1) earth observation satellite, EOS-03 into orbit was declared ‘unsuccessful’ early on Thursday morning.

As scheduled, the 51.70 meter tall, 416 ton Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F10) lifted off from the second launch pad at 5.43 am and the core stage burn out happened as planned, propelling the rocket in its intended path. The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) F10 rocket carrying GISAT-1 Earth observation satellite (EOS-03) successfully blasted off from the spaceport in Odisha. At about six minutes into the rocket’s flight and soon after the cryogenic engine started operation, the mission control centre at the space port here tensed up as there was no data coming from the rocket.

“Performance of first and second stages was normal. However, Cryogenic Upper Stage ignition did not happen due to technical anomaly. The mission couldn’t be accomplished as intended,” ISRO tweeted.

Announcing the mission failure, K. Sivan, Chairman, ISRO said, “the mission cannot be fully accomplished because of a technical anomaly observed in the cryogenic stage.” The satellite could give a boost to India’s abilities as it is designed to provide near real-time images of large areas of region of interest. The satellite could have potentially helped the country’s armed forces to plan operations.

Along with the rocket, the 2,268 kg GISAT-1/EOS-03 communication satellite carried by the rocket was also lost.

The GSLV-F10 is a three stage/engine rocket. The core of the first stage is fired with solid fuel and the four strap-on motors by liquid fuel. The second is the liquid fuel and the third is the cryogenic engine.

For ISRO, this is the second space mission in 2021 after the successful launch of Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 by its rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) earlier this year.

Among the many experts, former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair expressed his disappointment at the mission’s sudden setback. “It’s a shock for all of us. But we will recover from this shock soon and we will be back on track. The ISRO community is resilient enough to face such difficulties,” he told PTI. As soon as the news broke, social media users backed ISRO and appreciated the organization for the effort.

Due to COVID-19 and lockdown in the country, this launch got postponed. Initially, it was to be released on 5 March last year. ISRO then decided to launch it on 28 March this year, however, the plan got postponed again.


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