The previous attempt in August was aborted after a fuel leak was detected

The Indian Space Research Organisation will have another shot at its indigenous cryogenic upper stage Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) programme, the GSLV D5 mission on December 15, after its previous attempt in August was aborted following a fuel leak, ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan said on Wednesday.

“The stacking of the GSLV for the next flight has begun,” he told reporters here. According to him, the timely detection of the leak in the second stage and the immediate measures taken thereafter helped salvage the vehicle, cryogenic engine, range facilities and the satellite encapsulated in the heat shield.

The strap-on boosters and some of the electronic components that were exposed to propellants have been replaced. Three of the strap-ons were already in place and the fourth was expected to arrive at the assembly unit in a day, he added.

Mr. Radhakrishnan said while the expert committee had attributed the fuel leak to stress corrosion cracking of the tank filled with propellants, exactly why this happened was “a research problem” that remains to be investigated. The next GSLV mission will switch to a better aluminium alloy material for its propellant tanks.

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