Even after a successful liftoff, GSLV-F10’s mission to launch Earth Observation Satellite or EOS-3 into orbit failed due to a technical anomaly in the cryogenic stage
ISRO’s GSLV-F10 rocket blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Research Center in Sriharikota on August 12th, 2021. The mission was to launch EOS-3 or the Earth Observation Satellite into orbit. GSLV-F10 even had a successful liftoff through some Technical glitch started to appear in the Cryogenic stage due to which the mission failed and the attempt to launch the satellite into orbit remained unsuccessful.
The satellite EOS-3 was supposed to be placed in a Geostationary Orbit and if successful EOS-3 would have provided near real-time imaging of large areas which would help monitor short-term and long-term events. Such imaging would have been great from Disaster management and National security perspective.
Ideally, a rocket would consist of 3 stages and after successful ignition, each of the stages or parts of the rocket would ignite and provide lift to the rocket. Once the stage’s fuel has been depleted it would then detach from the rocket and the next stage would ignite to provide the left in the same manner. In this case, the first and second stages successfully ignited and provided the required push. However, the Cryogenic Upper Stage which is a part of CUSP (Cryogenic Upper Stage Project) failed to ignite thereby causing the mission to fail and place the satellite into orbit.
Even though ISRO’s former chairman Madhavan Nair expressed shock over the setback, he pointed out that this should be indeed taken as a lesson for the future by performing the proper root cause analysis. He commented that even with this failure ISRO’s success rate with Cryogenic engines is more than that of European Countries and Russia. Cryogenic engines are extremely complex and these kinds of setbacks are quite normal. He was optimistic about ISRO’s resilience to bounce back from such failures.
Cryogenic engines use liquified Oxygen and Hydrogen as fuels. India which due to international regulations was unable to use Russia’s cryo engines started to develop its own cryo technology indigenously which in itself was quite an impressive feat.
Arunava Bhattacharya, DNI: