New Delhi: In a set back to the country’s space mission, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro)’s geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV-F10) failed to put the EOS-3 earth observation satellite into orbit early on Thursday morning due to a technical anomaly that led to India’s third failed attempt.
The GSLV took off at 5.43am as scheduled from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre and the core stage burn out happened as planned, propelling the rocket in its intended path. Second stage ignition happened as planned some two minutes into the launch and payload fairing was confirmed by the mission control a little after nearly four minutes after take off, as planned.
And then there were a few tense moments that followed soon after the second stage shut off. The cryogenic stage did not ignite, rendering the mission a failure.
“Due to a technical anomaly in the cryogenic stage, the mission could not be fully accomplished,” Isro chairman K Sivan said addressing the team of scientists and engineers at Sriharikota after the mission.
Isro will now form a failure analysis committee (FAC) that will analyse the reasons for the anomaly.
This was the space agency’s third attempt at launching the satellite. It was first scheduled for March 5, 2020, but was scrubbed minutes before the 26-hour countdown was to begin on March 4, 2020. While Isro again appeared confident of launching it earlier this year (2021), the launch didn’t happen owing to a voltage issue that scientists described as a “minor power problem”.
Designed to provide near real-time images of large “areas of region of interest” at frequent intervals, the satellite was to be a kind of advanced ‘eye in the sky’ and also held the potential of aiding the country’s armed forces to plan operations.
The satellite was expected to boost India’s abilities by providing near real-time observation of the sub-continent, under cloud-free conditions, at frequent intervals.
Isro chairman K Sivan had told media before the launch on Wednesday: “Unlike satellites in LEO (low Earth orbit) this will provide a continuous view and will be really helpful in meteorological planning, agriculture, disaster warning among other things. This class of satellite is a first-of-its kind in Earth observation and we are proud.”
Weighing 2,268 kg, the satellite will also provide spectral signatures for agriculture, forestry, mineralogy, disaster warning, cloud properties, snow, glaciers and oceanography.
The satellite was equipped with six-band multispectral visible & near-InfraRed imaging sensor with 42m resolution, 158-band hyper-spectral visible & near-InfraRed sensor with 318m resolution and 256-band hyper-spectral short wave-InfraRed sensor with 191m resolution, as per Isro.