India's 18-year effort, GSLV-D3, crashes
After 18 years of research and testing, the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) first attempt to put a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle powered by an indigenous cryogenic engine ended in failure on Thursday. Reports HT Correspondent. See graphicsindia Updated: Apr 16, 2010 07:27 IST
After 18 years of research and testing, the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) first attempt to put a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle powered by an indigenous cryogenic engine ended in failure on Thursday.
The third phase of the launch of the Rs 330-crore project to put 2,200 kg of communication and navigation satellites into space using a cryogenic (liquefied hydrogen and oxygen) engine did not work.
"The vehicle was found tumbling and controllability was lost," ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan said in Sriharikota (Andhra), from where the 49-metre GSLV-D3 was launched.
Radhakrishnan said the cryogenic engine was tested many times and passed all parameters before being approved for flight.
The reasons for the engines failing to ignite would be ascertained after analysis of data.
Not deterred, the ISRO chief said another launch using an indigenous cryogenic engine would be conducted in a year.
Successful testing of the cryogenic third stage would have placed India in the league of five nations — the US, Russia, Japan, France (European Space Agency) and China — that own this restricted technology.
While the first two stages of the launch use solid and liquid fuels, the use of a cryogenic rocket engine enables a space vehicle to place a payload twice the weight non-cryogenic fuel enables.
The cryogenic stage is very complex compared to liquid or solid propellant stages due to the use of liquid hydrogen as fuel at and liquid oxygen as oxidiser. If the fuel mix is not precise, the rocket can explode.
India began developing the cryogenic engine in 1992 after the US not only refused the technology but pressured Russia to withdraw from its commitment to provide the technology to New Delhi.
With HT Research inputs