Launch of ISRO’s new navigation satellite failed due to technical glitch


The launch of Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) eighth navigation satellite was unsuccessful after the rocket’s heat shield failed to separate from the spacecraft during lift-off.

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite-1H (IRNSS-1H) was launched aboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, India.

In order to perform a successful launch, PSLV’s heat shield should make a separation from the satellite in around three minutes into the launch, but it did not succeed.

After waiting for nearly 19 minutes for the separation to happen, the ISRO scientists declared the mission a failure.

The launch represents the 41st flight of the PSLV rocket.

ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar was quoted by IANS as saying: “The mission was unsuccessful.

"The satellite was seen rotating inside the heat shield enclosure."

“The rocket heat shield didn't separate. The satellite is inside the heat shield.

“The satellite was seen rotating inside the heat shield enclosure.”

Weighing 1,425kg, the IRNSS-1H satellite was designed to replace the IRNSS-1A satellite, one of the seven satellites in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) and constellation. IRNSS-1A suffered an anomaly after its three rubidium atomic clocks on board had stopped functioning.

The IRNSS-1H satellite was planned to have placed at an orbital position of around 507km above the earth.

ISRO is currently carrying out a detailed analysis of the mission to identify the cause of the glitch in the heat shield separation event.