ISRO teams analysing data to pinpoint GSLV failure

Last Updated: Sunday, December 26, 2010 - 15:59

Bangalore: India`s top space scientists are
analysing data to find out what caused the failure of
Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) mission and an
expert committee is likely to be formed soon to give a report
on it.

"Teams are looking at the data to find out the reason
for what happened," Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
spokesman S Satish said.

"A Failure Analysis Committee is likely to be constituted in
the next one or two days," he said.

In a major setback, GSLV-F06 powered by Russian Cryogenic
stage, with GSAT-5P communication satellite on board, failed
in its mission yesterday following a technical problem soon
after the liftoff from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra
Pradesh.

The GSAT-5P, meant to give a boost to communication
services, including TV, telephone and telemedicine, was
originally scheduled for launch on December 20 but was
postponed a day earlier after a leak was noticed in the
cryogenic stage during pre-countdown checks.

This is the second consecutive setback for India`s space
programme this year after the GSLV-D3 veered off its flight
path and plunged into the Bay of Bengal along with GSAT-4 on
April 15.

After the failure yesterday, top ISRO officials said
the command to control the space rocket (GSLV-F06), carrying
GSAT-5P, from the equipment bay, the electronic brain of the
launch vehicle resident atop it, did not reach the actuators
in the first stage.

They suspected that a connector chord, which takes the
signal down, had snapped.

The FAC to be formed is expected to be similar to the
committee set up after the failure of GSLV-D3, primarily for
the flight testing of indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper
Stage (CUS), on April 15 this year.

The FAC comprising multi-disciplinary experts concluded at
the time that the primary cause for the failure was the sudden
loss of thrust in one out of the four liquid propellant
strap-on stages (S4) immediately after lift-off at 0.2 sec.

With only three strap-on stages working, there was
significant reduction in the control capability.

However, the vehicle altitude could be controlled till
about 50 seconds. At the same time, the vehicle reached the
transonic regime of flight and the vehicle altitude errors
built up to large values, resulting in aerodynamic loads
exceeding the design limits thus leading to break up of the
vehicle.

PTI




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