Earth’s observation satellite not placed into orbit, GSLV fails


The ISRO’S GSLV rocket failed to place the country’s latest observation satellite into orbit on Thursday, 12th August. The satellite was named EOS-03. Such a disaster occurred because the cryogenic stage of the launch vehicle could not be ignited. As a result of this failure, the premier space agency declared the mission “could not be achieved as intended”.

At first, everything was going great. The Bengaluru-headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that the first and second stages of the rocket performed normally but the third stage messed it all up. ISRO also stated that the cryogenic upper stage was timed to take place 4.56 minutes after the initial lift-off. ISRO faced a lot of hurdles due to the Covid-19 situation. However, it resumed its work by planning to launch rockets to place a satellite within the Earth’s orbit. The main objective of the satellite is to provide real-time images of the larger areas of the country and also quickly monitor natural disasters.

On Thursday, after a 26-hour countdown came to an end, the 51.7 metres tall rocket with four stages left the station at 05.43 hours. It left behind a trail of thick orange-coloured fumes. This four-stage rocket was the first of its kind because it was supposed to carry a four metres dia ‘Ogive Payload Fairing’ on the very summit of the vehicle to accommodate larger payloads. The rocket was designed to place the EOS “an agile state-of-the-art satellite into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit, 19 minutes after lift-off”.

No one expected Thursday’s attempt to launch the satellite to be unsuccessful. But when the inevitable happened, the scientists were forced to postpone their earlier planned missions. Originally, the satellite titled GISAT-1 weighed 2268 kgs and was scheduled to be launched on 5th March 2020. But on the day before the lift-off, there were technical issues and the launch got cancelled. Then the Covid-19 situation arose. The launch was scheduled for 28th March 2021. But then, due to a minor issue with the satellite, the scientists were forced to postpone it further.

A formal announcement was made at the Mission Control Centre regarding the fact that the Earth’s observation satellite was not placed into orbit. The range operations director stated, “Performance anomaly observed in the cryogenic stage. The mission could not be accomplished fully”. The ISRO Chairman K Sivan also said the exact same thing.

According to the experts, the mission of the satellite launch on Thursday was to provide quick and effective monitoring of natural disasters, obtain incorporeal signatures for forestry, agriculture and water bodies. It would also help in the cyclone and thunderstorm monitoring as well as cloud bursts.

Thursday’s mission is the eighth flight with a cryogenic engine. It is the 14th flight of the GSLV and also highlights the 79th launched vehicle from Sriharikota.

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