Big setback to ISRO’s satellite launch, GSLV Rocket malfunctions 5 minutes after take off

by Joseph K. Clark

While the ISRO has previously faced difficulties with the cryogenic engine, it has nevertheless successfully launched the satellites on most occasions. (Credit: R Senthil Kumar/PTI) In an unfortunate incident, an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost a vital earth observation satellite at its launch this morning. The satellite could not be successfully launched due to the malfunctioning of the GSLV Rocket, which was carrying the satellite only five minutes after its take-off, the Indian Express reported.

What was the mission all about?

The launch aimed to place the EOS-03 earth observation satellite into a geostationary orbit. About five minutes after taking off the satellite, the GSLV rocket malfunctioned, leading to the failure of the launch. IN A PRELIMINARY STATEMENT, the ISRO said that the missile’s performance was alright during the first and second stagesof. Still, the genie Upper Stage ignition did not occur successfully due to a technical glitch. It further said that the mission could not be accomplished as envisaged.

What is the function of Cryogenic Upper Stage ignition?

The satellite had an indigenously developed cryogenic engine to propel the heavy rockets into the atmosphere efficiently. The machine is filled with liquid hydrogen and oxygen at a shallow temperature. The shallow-temperature aspect of such engines also makes them more complex than conventional liquid and solid fuels. The extremely low-temperature hundreds of degrees below zero degrees Celsius, must be maintained for the successful functioning of the rocket. While the ISRO has previously faced difficulties with the cryogenic engine, it has nevertheless successfully launched the satellites on most occasions.

According to the Indian Express, the satellite launch which failed today was the 14th launch involving a GSLV rocket, and three such launches have previously failed. The missile used in today’s launch-Mark-II version of GSLV- was last used successfully by the space agency in the launch of a communication satellite in 2018, and it was way back in 2010 when the same rocket faltered.

ISRO's satellite

Challenges before ISRO

With the backlog of several missions worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic, the unsuccessful launch of the satellite is a significant setback for the space agency. The EOS-03 satellite was initially planned to be launched in March 2020 but got delayed due to some technical glitch and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Use of EOS-03 satellite

One of the new generation Earth-observation satellites, EOS-03’s launch, was crucial as it was envisaged to provide almost real-time images of a large part of the country. The real-time images of the country would have been utterly helpful in predicting and monitoring natural disasters like floods and cyclones and recording accurate data about the forest and crop cover in the country.

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