The disaster that struck the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F06) on Saturday will not affect the transponder augmentation for the continuance of telecommunication, telecasting and weather forecasting services provided by the Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system, K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said here.
The GSLV-F06 was to have put in orbit GSAT-5P with 36 transponders that would have boosted India's telecommunication, telecasting, tele-education, telemedicine and banking services. But the vehicle, after 50 seconds of flights, lost control, broke up into pieces and was destroyed in mid-flight.
Dr. Radhakrishnan said a series of communication satellites would be launched in the coming years to boost the country's communication and telecasting services. The GSAT-8, having 24 transponders, would be launched by the European Space Agency's Ariane rocket from French-Guyana in March-April 2011.
These would be followed by the launch of GSAT-10 and GSAT-9. Next to follow would be GSAT-12, a smaller communication satellite that would be put in orbit by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle from Sriharikota.
The ISRO Chairman, however, said: “we will now review the GSLV programme” since a GSLV of the same class was needed to put Chandrayaan-2 into orbit in 2013-14. While India would build the Chandrayaan-2 and the rover that would drive about on the Moon's soil, Russia would provide the lander, which would land the rover on the lunar soil. “The Russians are happy with the [Chandrayaan-2] programme so far,” he said.
The ISRO would launch a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C16) from Sriharikota in the first week of February 2011. The rocket would put in orbit India's Resourcesat-2, Youthsat with payloads from Russia and India, and X-Sat from Singapore.
On the failure of the GSLV-F06, Dr. Radhakrishnan said its performance was normal for 50 seconds after the lift-off. “Soon afterwards, the vehicle's attitude was increasing, leading to heavier structural loads, higher angle of attack and breaking up of the vehicle.”
The Range Safety Officer in the Mission Control Centre gave the ‘destruct' command to the vehicle 63 seconds after the lift-off from its second launch pad and it was destroyed.
The vehicle lost control because there were indications that four connectors (chords) that take the signal to the first stage for controlling the rocket could have snapped. “What happened and why it happened, we have to find out. We will get into the details,” Dr. Radhakrishnan said. He asserted that there was no problem with the GSLV's design. “It was only [due to] some accident that the connector snapped,” he said. He was sure the problem would be overcome because “we learn from failures.”
Not a major problem
Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram P.S. Veeraragahvan asserted that it was “not a major problem because the vehicle's design was not an issue. It was a problem of the connector snapping.”