Sriharikota: In a setback, ISRO’s proven launch vehicle, the PSLV, was unsuccessful in its mission to inject IRNSS-1H navigation satellite into the desired orbit.
Describing the failed mission as a ‘mishap’, ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar said the heat shield did not separate for the IRNSS-1H, a backup navigation satellite, to be put into orbit in the final leg of the launch sequence. As a result, the satellite got stuck in the fourth stage of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle–PSLV-C39.
“Today the launch mission has not succeeded. While all the systems of the launch vehicle performed extremely well, we had a mishap. Heat shield has not separated,” Kumar said shortly after the satellite’s equipment failed to disjoin as scheduled about 20 minutes after the lift-off.
The eighth satellite was a back-up navigation satellite for IRNSS-1A, one of the seven satellites in the constellation, as its three rubidium atomic clocks on board had stopped functioning.
For the first time, the private sector has been actively involved in assembling and testing of a satellite unlike earlier where its role was limited to supplying components.
Today’s setback is considered a rare failure in India’s space mission involving the PSLV, dubbed as Indian Space Research Organization’s workhorse which has had a time-tested record of 39 consecutive successful launches ever since its maiden flight failed 24 years ago.