Space News
space history and artifacts articles

space history discussion forums

worldwide astronaut appearances

selected space history documents

related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  ESA - JAXA - China - International
  India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 37326
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-25-2010 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
India's 167 foot tall Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) was lost in flight Saturday as it burst into a fireball less than a minute after liftoff. Spaceflight Now reports...
"Controllability of the vehicle was lost after about 47 seconds because we found the control command did not reach the actuators (of the strap-on boosters)," said K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization.

The GSLV is propelled off the launch pad by a single solid-fueled core motor and four L40 strap-on boosters.

The liquid-fueled L40 boosters are each powered by a single engine producing about 170,000 pounds of thrust. The engines burn hydrazine and their nozzles pivot to steer the rocket during the first two-and-a-half minutes of flight.

Something prevented computer steering commands from reaching the engine gimbal system, Radhakrishnan said in a press conference several hours after the rocket accident.

"What has caused this interruption at 47 seconds has to be studied in detail," Radhakrishnan said. "We hope to get an assessment of exactly what occurred."

Safety officials issued a destruct command a few seconds later as the GSLV was at an altitude of nearly 30,000 feet, according to Radhakrishnan.

The rocket was carrying GSAT 5P, a replacement satellite to extend television and telephone services across India, and the largest spacecraft launched by an Indian booster. This was the seventh launch of the GSLV and its fourth failure (the second for this year).


Posts: 708
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 12-26-2010 12:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Besides looking eerily like the aftermath of the Challenger accident - this explosion is doubly troubling as it's the same booster earmarked to carry an Indian manned spacecraft into orbit sometime after 2016.

Back to the drawing board...


Posts: 93
From: Manchester, UK
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 12-27-2010 08:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Prospero     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To be fair, the Yanks had similar problems with their Atlas booster in the early days.


Posts: 1948
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 12-27-2010 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Never forget - this is not as easy as it sometimes appears to be.


Posts: 708
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 12-27-2010 11:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My sympathies are with the Indians but I think they are being very optimistic about manned spaceflight plans.

Four out of seven GSLV launches ending in failure is a dire record - plus the fact as there's a western embargo on cryogenic rocket motors being shipped to India (because of missile proliferation issues) they'll have to start using a homegrown version very soon...

I read somewhere that the Indians only have one more Russian-built engine left. These were sold to them with the understanding that they develop their own version but unfortunately this home-grown cryo motor is now behind schedule.

A manned spaceflight in five years time appears right now to be a fantasy!


Posts: 992
From: UK
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 12-27-2010 04:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not good news at all. I had high hopes for both India and South Korea's fledgling space efforts.

Expanding the ISS partnership is something that should happen, but any new potential nation must demonstrate a certain level of maturity.

This setback dents such hopes.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 37326
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-04-2011 08:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ISRO release
GSLV F06 Failure-Preliminary findings and Further steps

  1. The performance of the GSLV-F06 flight of December 25, 2010 (with GSAT-5P Satellite onboard) was normal up to 47.5 seconds from lift-off. The events leading to the failure got initiated at 47.8 seconds after lift-off. Soon, the vehicle started developing larger errors in its orientation leading to build-up of higher angle of attack and higher structural loads and consequently vehicle broke up at 53.8 seconds from lift-off (as seen visually as well as from the Radars).

    As per the Range safety norms, a destruct command was issued from the ground at 64 seconds after lift-off. The flight was hence terminated in the regime of the First Stage itself.

  2. Soon after this, Dr. Radhakrishnan, the Chairman ISRO constituted a Preliminary Failure Analysis Team under the chairmanship of former Chairman, ISRO Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, to conduct a preliminary analysis of the flight data, along with members of the Launch Authorisation Board, and Mission Readiness Review Committee as well as senior Project functionaries of GSLV Project and Experts.

  3. The finding of the Preliminary Failure Analysis Team is that the primary cause of the failure is the untimely and inadvertent snapping of a group of 10 connectors located at the bottom portion of the Russian Cryogenic Stage. Some of these connectors carry command signals from the onboard computer residing in the Equipment Bay (located near the top of the vehicle) to the control electronics of the four L40 Strap-ons of the First Stage. These connectors are intended to be separated only on issue of a separation command at 292 seconds after lift-off. The premature snapping of these connectors has led to stoppage of continuous flow of control commands to the First Stage control electronics, consequently leading to loss of control and break-up of the vehicle. The exact cause of snapping of the set of connectors, whether due to external forces like vibration, dynamic pressure is to be analysed further and pin-pointed.

  4. Chairman ISRO has now constituted a Failure Analysis Committee to (i) carry out an in-depth analysis of the flight data of GSLV-F06 as well as the data from the previous six flights of GSLV; (ii) establish reasons for the failure of GSLV-F06 flight and; (iii) recommend corrective actions on the GSLV vehicle including the remaining one Russian Cryogenic Stage. The Failure Analysis Committee chaired by Former Chairman ISRO Dr. G. Madhavan Nair has 11 Experts drawn from within ISRO and outside.

  5. Chairman ISRO has also constituted a Programme Review and Strategy Committee to look into (i) the future of the GSLV Programme and assured launch for INSAT/GSAT Series, INSAT-3D as well as Chandrayaan-2 (ii) realization and operationalisation of indigenous Cryogenic Stage (iii) strategy for meeting the demands of communication transponders in the immediate future. Dr. K. Kasturirangan, former Chairman ISRO and presently Member of the Planning Commission will be chairing this seven member Committee.

  6. These two Committees have been requested to submit their Reports by the end of January 2011. Subsequently, the Reports of these Committees will be presented to Eminent National Experts including Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Prof. M.G.K. Menon, Prof. Yash Pal, Prof. U.R. Rao, Dr. K. Kasturirangan, Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, Dr. R. Chidambaram, and Prof. R. Narasimha.

  7. Further, a Panel chaired by Dr. S.C. Gupta, former member of Space Commission will be guiding and facilitating an internal exercise by Chairman, ISRO, eliciting views from the ISRO community at all levels to gear up for the complex and challenging space missions ahead.

  8. ISRO plans to complete these reviews and internal exercises by end of February, 2011.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 37326
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-05-2014 09:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ISRO successfully launches GSLV with commsat

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched its eighth Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, or GLSV, on Sunday (Jan. 5), the first success since a pair of failures in 2010.

Designated GSLV-D5, the rocket lifted off at 4:48 a.m. CST (1048 GMT, 4:18 p.m. Indian time) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre and deployed the GSAT-14 communication satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit.


Posts: 670
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 06-15-2017 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
India launched its latest version of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, named GSLV MK.3 on June 5. Here's an article about it on Spaceflight Now:
"Today is a historic day," said A.S. Kiran Kumar, ISRO's chairman. "We have been able to successfully put the satellite into orbit, and I take this opportunity to congratulate the entire team, which has relentlessly worked many decades for this program from 2002."

The GSLV Mk.3 is designed to loft satellites as heavy as 8,800 pounds (4 metric tons) into geostationary transfer orbit, the drop-off point for most large communications and broadcasting satellites.

That is around twice the capability of the GSLV Mk.2, India's next-biggest rocket, vaulting the country's space program a step closer to self-reliance.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 2017 All rights reserved.

Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a