Zee Media Bureau/Liji Varghese
Sriharikota/New Delhi: In a setback, the much awaited launch of India`s geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle-D5 (GSLV-D5), with communication satellite GSAT-14 as payload, from Sriharikota rocket port in Andhra Pradesh was called off on Monday.
GSLV-D5, one of the most crucial launches for the India Space Research Organisation
(ISRO), was scheduled to blast-off at 4.50 pm but the space agency decided to abort the mission with 1 hour and 14 minutes to go on the countdown timer.
ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said that the launch was called off after a fuel leak was noticed in the second stage of the rocket engine.
“Leaky proponents observed in the second stage. We need to make an assessment of the cause of the leak in GSLV-D5 vehicle,” the ISRO chief said.
“We will announce a new date for the launch of GSLV- D5 satellite,”” he added, suggesting that getting the GLSV-D5 back on steam will take time.
The 49.13 metre tall GSLV-D5 rocket weighing 414.75 tonnes was to cruise for 17 minutes and eight seconds before placing telecommunication satellite GSAT-14 into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).
GSAT-14, which weighs 1,982kg, will be used for telecast and telecommunication.
The Rs 205 crore launch was critical to ISRO as the rocket`s indigenously developed cryogenic upper stage (CUS) was to be flight tested for the second time by the Indian space agency.
The previous flight test of the indigenous cryogenic stage in the GSLV-D3 mission on April 15, 2010 ended in a disaster after the thrust from the cryogenic engine failed to pick after lift-off.
The GSLV was flown again in December the same year but this time round it used a Russian cryogenic stage. The mission too was a failure.