The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), on Monday, called off the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) D-5 mission carrying a GSAT-14 satellite due to leak in the fuel system of the launch vehicle.

With 1 hour 14 minutes and 20 seconds left for the launch, ISRO officials decided to call off the launch when the leak in the fuel system was noticed during the filling up of liquid propellant. The launch was scheduled to take place at 1650 hours from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

“Today, there will be no launch of GSLV D-5. We need to look at the data and then assess. We will announce the new date after the assessment is over,” according to K. Radhakrishnan, Director, ISRO.

“The countdown progressed well. A few minutes ago, we observed a leak in the fuel system of the second stage of the vehicle. Because of this, we are calling off the launch. Action will be taken immediately to drain out the liquid propellant from the second stage before L40 strap on and the cryogenic stage. We will move the GSLV vehicle to the vehicle assembly bay. We need to make an assessment of the cause of the leak and what actions we need to take before further preparations for the launch,” he told newspersons in a brief announcement.

ISRO had earlier planned the launch on August 6 but postponed it to 19.

The 160-ft tall GSLV is a three-stage vehicle with a 414-tonne lift-off weight. It has a maximum diameter of 3.4 metre at the payload fairing.

So far, ISRO has attempted seven GSLV launches since the first launch of GSAT-1 in April 2001. The most recent launch was in 2010. While two launches have been successful, one was partially successful. Four launches have failed.

The GSAT 14 satellite was to help provide many satellite-based communication services to the country including tele-education and telemedicine.

raja.simhan@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 19, 2013)
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