ISRO halts launch of GSLV-D5 rocket due to snag

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August 19, 2013

SRIHARIKOTA: The Indian Space Research Organization called off the much-awaited launch of GSLV-D5 after scientists detected a leak in the second stage liquid propellant tank.

ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan (Right) addressing the media after calling off GSLV-D5 launch.

August 19, 2013

SRIHARIKOTA: The Indian Space Research Organization called off the much-awaited launch of GSLV-D5 after scientists detected a leak in the second stage liquid propellant tank.

ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan (Right) addressing the media after calling off GSLV-D5 launch.

The mission was called off about an hour before the designated lift-off at 4.50pm on Monday. GSLV-D5, powered by an indigenous cryogenic engine, was to launch telecommunication satellite GSAT-14 from Sriharikota.

"A few minutes ago we detected a leak in the fuel system of the second stage of the vehicle. We are calling off the launch," Isro chairman K Radhakrishnan said.

Scientists are draining out liquid propellants from the rocket, which would soon be taken to the vehicle assembly building for an assessment. "We need to look at what went wrong and what action needs to be taken before further preparations for the launch," the Isro chairman said.

When asked if the leak posed a threat to the vehicle while it was at the launch pad, a scientist said it can be assessed only after studying the vehicle further.

GSLV-D5 launch is crucial for the country as it would demonstrate its ability to develop and use cryogenic engines which are inevitable for the launch of big telecommunication satellites and Isro's ambitious projects including manned missions.

The PSLVs, which India has mastered, can carry only satellites that weigh less than 1,500kg.

The Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota remained tense since Sunday 11.50am when the countdown began.

Weighing on the scientists mind were two consecutive failures of GSLVs in 2010. The April 15 failure of GSLV-D3 meant the first attempt with an indigenous engine had come a cropper.

Scientists, however, remained confident till about 3.50pm, when the leak was noticed.


Courtesy: PTI