The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has an awesome track record as far as satellite launches go, but in a rare failure, the space agency’s PSLV failed to release the Indian Navigation Satellite (IRNSS-1H) into space.
The space agency has confirmed the launch as a failure and said they will be doing a detailed analysis of the launch. This is only the second failure of the PSLV in 41 launches.
The PSLV-C39 took off flawlessly carrying the eighth satellite of the NaVIC. All the four stages of the rocket performed normally but the satellite remained inside the heat shield instead of separating. IRNSS-1H is the first satellite assembled by a private consortium along with ISRO scientists.
“The heat shield was not separated. We will do a detailed analysis. Though the rest of the activities had gone smoothly, the mission is unsuccessful because the satellite is not in a position to go to the intended orbit,” Isro chairman A.S. Kiran-kumar said.
The heat shield is used to protect the satellite till the atmospheric region. It has to separate and fall out. After that, the released satellite would reach the intended orbit. IRNSS-1H satellite cannot be used as it was enclosed by the heat shield.
Asked how the failed mission would impact on commercial launch prospects, Mr Kiran Kumar said the issue has to be studied. The rocket’s engines and other systems performed well, and only the heat shield did not get separated.
He added that the satellite was seen rotating inside the heat shield enclosure. “We will have to do the analysis to find out the reason for the heat shield not separating.”
The launch of IRNSS-1H is particularly important following problems with the first satellite of the network.
The PSLV rocket holds the world record for having sent the most number of satellites in a single rocket when PSLV C-37 had placed 104 satellites into orbit on February 15. In its previous mission, the rocket had placed 32 satellites including Carto-sat-2E satellite in June.