Satellites

GSLV launch aborted during liftoff

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The first flight of India's Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV) was aborted during lift-off at 3:47 PM today after one of its four engines failed to ignite properly, leading to an automatic shutdown of the rocket. The GSLV was to carry the G-Sat 1 communications satellite into orbit.

For the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which was behind the project (and way behind schedule as well), it is back to the drawing board to figure out what could have gone wrong.

The GSLV has been designed to launch 2.5 tonne class of communication satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO-22,000 miles high) for about $70-80 million per launch.

GSLV is a three stage vehicle, 49m tall. The first stage, GS1, comprises a solid propellant motor (S125) and four liquid propellant strap-on stages(L40). The second stage (GS2) is powered by a single liquid propellant engine (L37.5). The third stage (GS3) is a cryogenic stage (C12) with re-startable engines.

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