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Aug 19, 2013 at 04:54pm IST

ISRO's GSLV-D5 launch put on hold due to fuel leakage

Sriharikota: The launch of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-D5 (GSLV-D5) has been put on hold by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) because of a technical problem in the cryogenic engine which led to a fuel leak. The GSLV-D5 was carrying communications satellite GSAT-14 and was to be launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said the new launch date will be announced later. "The launch of GSLV-D5 has been called off. The countdown progressed well. After some time we observed a leak in the fuel system and because of this we had to call off the launch. We will announce a new date after the assessment of the fault," said Radhakrishnan.

The GSLV is powered by an indigenous cryogenic engine which allows it to carry a greater payload. ISRO's decision to put the launch on hold gains significance in light of the fact that three years ago, the GSLV-D5 launch had failed.

The rocket carrying the 1,982-kg satellite was to be launched from the second launchpad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 4:50 pm on Monday

India needs cryogenic engines for GSLVs for carrying heavy payloads of up to five tonnes which are crucial for future telecommunication and space exploration as its current successful PSLVs can carry only payloads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes in geosynchronous transfer orbit.

GSLV-D5 is the eighth flight of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle and the fourth developmental flight.

The mission is significant as the indigenously developed cryogenic upper stage (CUS) was to be flight tested for the second time by the ISRO. The previous flight test of the indigenous cryogenic stage in the GSLV-D3 mission failed on April 15, 2010.

Besides, the next GLSV flight with a Russian cryogenic stage also ended in failure in December 2010.

GSAT-14 would help provide many satellite based communication services to the country including tele-education and telemedicine. The main objectives of the GSAT-14 mission is to augment the in-orbit capacity of Extended C and Ku-band transponders and to provide a platform for new experiments.

The GSLV-D5 with a lift off mass of 414.75 tonne is 49.13 metre long and has three stages of separation and would launch the GSAT-14 into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.

(With additional information from PTI)