Strap-on engine caused GSLV failure | india | Hindustan Times
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Strap-on engine caused GSLV failure

Scientists say at 200 miliseconds, the S4 engine seems to have shut off, reports Satyen Mohapatra. Graphics

india Updated: Nov 04, 2006 01:50 IST

The S4 strap-on engine whose malfunction caused the failure of GSLV rocket on July 10,2006 off Sriharikota may have “totally disintegrated.”
      
Secretary Earth Sciences PS Goel said there was a possibility of the engine having been completely destroyed as they had found melted, twisted and broken metallic parts of S4’s lower stage within one kilometer radius of S4 nose cone which had been recovered from the sea bed in Bay of Bengal in October along with middle parts of the stage and base plate electronics.

They had also been able to locate all the other three strap on engines S1,S2 and S3, he said.

The GSLV’s flight had lasted for about a minute, it reached an altitude of about 11 kilometer and disintegrated and the debris was strewn over an area of approximately 60 kilometers.
    
At 200 miliseconds the S4 engine seems to have shut off affecting the aerodynamics and tilting  the rocket and eventually plunging it into the sea. A lot of propellant left also seemed to have shattered this stage of the rocket,Goel added. 
    
The GSLV debris found nearest to the launch pad is at a radial distance of 6.3 km (S4  Nose Cone)towards sea and the farthest point is about 7.5 km(S3 engine). 
   
Analysis of the debris would lead to better understanding of the reasons for the crash, Goel added.     
   
Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Kapil Sibal said that the recovery of GSLV subsystems from sea is the second in space history in the world after recovery of debris of Ariane 5 of the European Space Agency in 1996.
    
Event though they were not able to locate “the engine” it was a major operation from July 15 till October 22 in three phases covering 92 square kilometer area,surveying a length of 600 line kilometers, for about 100 days in 94 locations in Bay of Bengal Ministry of Earth Sciences involving 550 diving operations to collect debris of GSLV at 12 to 20 metres depth,Sibal said.
    
Four ships Sagar Kanya,Sagar Purvi,Sagar Paschimi of Ministry of Earth Sciences and a chartered vessel Akademik Boris Petrov were used for carrying out sonar surveys, diving operations in under water currents  to recover the debris. Remotely Operated Vehicle was used in a limited area during the nights due to depth and visibility limitations. 
   
With help of underwater videography the first  strap on engine (S3) was located and picked up with help of professional divers and Sagar Kanya  as early as  July 20,2006. The second strap on engine (S2) was recovered on July 27 . Both were recovered within a radius of about a kilometer from the predicted impact points.
    
Based on the recovery location of S3 and S2, ISRO predicted new impact points for the location  of S1 and S4, and the S1 engine and other components were recovered on Sept.24 with help of Sagar Purvi and Sagar Paschimi.

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