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ISRO chairman, K Radhakrishan, announced the rocket had spun out of control and that the cryogenic engine may have ignited. He promised another attempt next year. "Sorry to inform you that the cryogenic stage was not successful. The countdown was eventless. We are not very sure that the cryogenic main engine did ignite. The vehicle was tumbling, it lost its control and altitude and splashed down in the sea," Radhakrishan said.
The cost of the mission was Rs 330 crore. The tall and majestic GSLV, if launched successfully, would have marked India's entry into the multi-billion dollar commercial launcher market on a fully indigenous rocket. A sophisticated new Indian technology called the cryogenic engine was being flown for the first time. In the five earlier flights, India had used pre-used imported Russian made cryogenic engines. It was this engine that underperformed.
Today's failure will impact India's efforts at launching its own communication satellites, its first manned space flight and the planned launch of Chandrayan 2 in 2012. It's the second major setback months after the failure of Chandrayaan-1 -- India's maiden mission to the moon. But on a positive note, ISRO has been able to come back with a bang in the past. It plans to attempt another launch in a year. Scientists also point out that cryogenic engines are a difficult technology to master and even countries like the US and Japan failed in their maiden attempts.
This mission was to have hoisted a sophisticated communications satellite called G-Sat, an Indian-made experimental satellite that weighs 2200 kg and would improve the global positioning system. It was also to have tested a new electrical propulsion system to keep the satellite in its orbit. It was also carrying a set of Ka-band transponders, which would have increased the quality of television coverage.
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Post Number: 18805