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GSAT-5P's launch vehicle explodes mid-air


Prathibha Parameswaran,CNN-IBN
Jan 07, 2011 at 03:47pm IST

Sriharikota: In a huge setback for India's space ambitions, the launch of the communications satellite being carried by the GSLV failed. The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle soared in the sky along with the hopes of ISRO's brightest. But 47 seconds later hope turned into horror as the onboard computer lost control of the actuation system. Back at the base in Sriharikota, scientists had no option but to press the self-destruct button to abort the ill-fated flight.

ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan said that the vehicle developed large altitude errors that led to the failure.

The satellite the rocket was carrying was to have been used for TV, weather, and telecom services, in place of the earlier INSAT 2E. Its failure however, comes as a big blow to ISRO's loftier ambitions as well.

The failure of 2 GSLV's in a span of eight months has bothered the scientists at the ISRO considering the fact that this is going to be vehicle that is going to be used for Chandrayaan 2 in 2013.

The GSLV launch abort is the second failure of the GSLV platform this year. On April 15th, the GSLV-D3 launch carrying an indigenous cryogenic engine failed. All in all, only two GSLV out of seven launches have been successful. Clearly, there is a ghost in the machine for ISRO.

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