Split second decision, I feel very sad: ISRO officer

For Vinod Kumar Srivastava, the range safety officer at ISRO rocket launch centre, it was a sad day - in a split second decision, he had to destruct the GSLV rocket that exploded after its launch here Saturday.

Last Updated: Dec 25, 2010, 23:48 PM IST

Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh): For Vinod Kumar Srivastava, the range safety officer at ISRO rocket launch centre, it was a sad day - in a split second decision, he had to destruct the GSLV rocket that exploded after its launch here Saturday.

He had to press the much-dreaded button - the rocket destruct button - as he found the rocket going off its path and breaking.
"We have the rocket`s path and when it crosses the limits we had to destroy the rocket. We will study where the debris will fall when a rocket is blown up at a particular point in the air," Srivastava told IANS.

He said the rocket will not back-up and fall in civilian areas as it was moving forward at a fast pace.

"It will only disintegrate," he added.

The 2,310 kg GSAT-5P satellite, costing about Rs.125 crore, was launched at 4.04 p.m. in clear sky from the space centre here, to serve the needs of the telecommunication sector and the weather department. It exploded within a minute of its launch.
This is the second time that Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) destroyed its own rocket midair. In 2006, the agency had to destroy another geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) rocket mid-air as it became unstable.

IANS