No Sabotage In PSLV Failure, It will Fly In November: Space Agency Chief

ISRO chief AS Kiran Kumar brushed away the possibility of sabotage in the failure of the PSLV during last month's launch of India's first private-sector manufactured satellite IRNSS 1-H

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No Sabotage In PSLV Failure, It will Fly In November: Space Agency Chief

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The launch of private-sector manufactured satellite IRNSS-1H in August was unsuccessful.

New Delhi:  The launch of India's first private-sector assembled satellite, the IRNSS-1H, failed last month because a tiny but vital equipment had failed, space agency ISRO has said. Brushing away speculations of an internal sabotage on social media, ISRO chief Dr AS Kiran Kumar told NDTV that the same equipment had "worked perfectly 60 times" earlier. 

The rocket will be ready to go again in November, when it will carry the earth observation satellite of the Cartosat series. "Some foreign satellites may also be flown' said Dr Kumar which suggests that the confidence of overseas partners not eroded in PSLV due to its failure.

The failed equipment in question is a pyro element or a small explosive device, the senior scientist said. Its failure stopped the PSLV rocket from shedding the heat shield in which the satellite was enclosed. In his first interview since the launch failure, Dr Kumar said the problem could be of workmanship. "PSLV has no design issues and once a failure analysis report comes in, it should be ready to fly in November or December," he added.

A heat shield is meant to protect a satellite from the heat generated by atmospheric friction during lift-off. Once a satellite is ready to be placed in orbit, the heat shield is expected to separate and fall off - which did not happen in this case. 

"This resulted in satellite separation occurring within the heat shield... resulting in the unsuccessful mission. Detailed analysis is under progress to identify the cause of the anomaly in the heat shield separation event," the ISRO had said.

But the failure of the mission doesn't mean that the PSLV, the workhorse of the space agency, will be grounded. 

"Definitely PSLV will continue to be the workhorse," Dr Kumar said. "In launch vehicle technology, no matter how many times you may have done it, one has to keep one's fingers crossed because there are so many things that in principle can go wrong."

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