ISRO rocket's heat shield separation failed by malfunctioning pyro elements on August 31? - Read
ISRO officials say they strongly suspect the failure of pyro elements for the non-separation of the heat shield of its rocket PSLV's XL variant on August 31.
New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) that is lauded the world over for its commendable space program experienced a minor setback during its latest satellite launch on August 31.
About three minutes into the launch – which was being aired live – something seemed amiss as the coverage was cut short.
Moments later, ISRO chief AS Kiran Kumar confirmed that the PSLV-C39 rocket's heat shield which was supposed to separate in order to release the satellite failed to do, resulting in the failure of the Rs 250-crore mission.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), that has earned the credit of exemplary launches of satellites that it carries on its 'rock solid' shoulders and has managed to create a niche for ISRO in the space world, failed this time.
ISRO officials were baffled with its performance themselves and decided to analyse the rocket's flight data before coming to a conclusion.
Now, after studying the data, ISRO officials say they strongly suspect the failure of pyro elements for the non-separation of the heat shield of its rocket PSLV's XL variant on August 31.
Normally the heat shield will be separated soon after the rocket crosses the earth's atmosphere.
According to K Sivan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), all the systems during the rocket's flight worked well while the only suspect place is the pyro elements.
The VSSC is part of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
"Tests are going on to find out the reasons for the failure of heat shield separation. Each test takes around 72 hours," Sivan told IANS.
One fortunate aspect of the failure is that ISRO has all the flight data as the rocket was not lost during its one way journey.
Sivan said the heat shield would separate after on-board computers give the command to ignite the explosives. The explosives would then ignite and explode to separate the two parts of the heat shield joined by bolts.
(With IANS inputs)