“The mission couldn’t be accomplished"
An Indian rocket carrying an Earth observation satellite has failed to launch.
The attempted launch of the EOS-03 satellite took place on Thursday, August 12, 2021.
According to the space agency, the failure is a huge set back for India’s space programme.
The satellite was launched on a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F10) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
If launched successfully, it was going to be used to efficiently monitor natural disasters such as cyclones and thunderstorms.
The rocket’s lift-off was smooth.
However, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), it failed its final phase.
The ISRO took to their official Twitter account to break the news of the rocket’s failed launch.
Their tweet came on Thursday, August 12, 2021.
GSLV-F10 launch took place today at 0543 Hrs IST as scheduled. Performance of first and second stages was normal. However, Cryogenic Upper Stage ignition did not happen due to technical anomaly. The mission couldn't be accomplished as intended.
— ISRO (@isro) August 12, 2021
In the tweet, the ISRO said:
“GSLV-F10 launch took place today at 0543 Hrs IST as scheduled.
“Performance of first and second stages was normal.
“However, Cryogenic Upper Stage ignition did not happen due to technical anomaly.
“The mission couldn’t be accomplished as intended.”
If the launch had been successful, the satellite was meant to stay in a geostationary orbit around 22,000 miles above the Equator.
However, the ISRO did not say what has become of the spacecraft since its technical error.
According to USA-based astronomer Jonathan McDowell, it is likely that both the rocket and the satellite fell into the Andaman Sea, on the west coast of Thailand.
Prior to the rocket’s launch, scientists had mounted a large telescope on the satellite to look down on India.
The satellite was expected to last for at least a decade, and work to provide almost real-time images of India and track natural disasters.
It was also built with the intention of collecting data to monitor crop health, therefore assisting agriculture and forestry.
This was India’s first rocket launch of 2021, and the failure breaks India’s streak of 14 successful launches by the ISRO.
The streak began shortly after the failing of an Indian rocket that they attempted to launch in 2017.
The rocket was carrying a satellite for the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System.
According to reports, the ISRO had planned to conduct at least four more missions by the end of 2021.
However, each of those missions are most likely to be put on hold while the ISRO investigates the cause of the GSLV launch failure.