India’s space agency suffered a setback while attempting to put an earth observation satellite into orbit, due to a technical anomaly minutes after the rocket carrying the satellite was launched in the early hours on Thursday.
“Performance of first and second stages was normal. However, Cryogenic Upper Stage ignition did not happen due to technical anomaly. The mission couldn’t be accomplished as intended,” the Indian Space Research Organisation said in a statement.
The GISAT-1 Earth observation satellite (EOS), meant for quick monitoring of natural disasters such as cyclones, cloudbursts and thunderstorms, was launched on a geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in southern India.
The satellite was being termed a game-changer as far as India’s space ambitions are concerned, owing to its functionality in Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit, before moving on to the final geostationary orbit.
The satellite was expected to send 4-5 photographs from across the country daily, the minister of state (MoS) in charge of the department of space, Jitendra Singh told parliament earlier this week.
On the basis of these photographs, India would’ve been be able to monitor and respond to natural disasters and any other short-term events at an alarming pace.
Moreover, the GISAT-1 satellite was also made to obtain spectral signatures for agriculture, forestry, mineralogy, cloud properties, snow and glaciers, and oceanography, enabling researchers back home to gain new insight on a host of issues.
The key advantage was that it would appear motionless in space once it is in orbit since it will travel at the rate of rotation of the planet. There it wouldn’t require constant readjust allowing real-time monitoring of key areas of interest to India.
The GSAT-1 was originally slated for March 5 last year but it was delayed in view of the pandemic and subsequent technical glitches. It was later rescheduled twice, once for March 28 and then again postponed to May in view of the second wave of the pandemic, before settling for a final date on August 11.