ISRO’s GSLV F10 fails to ignite due to performance anomaly


Silence fell at the mission control room just before the seventh minute of the flight of the launch vehicle and the scientists started analyzing the numbers.

“GSLV-F10 launch took place today at 0543 Hrs IST as scheduled. Performance of the 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,” said a statement from the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).

Just before the seventh minute of the launch vehicle’s flight, the mission control room fell silent, and the scientists began analyzing the data. “The outcome of the mission will be announced by Isro soon. Right now in the mission control, senior scientists are in discussion regarding the performance of the flight,” said an announcement. Finally, the space agency stated that the mission could not be completed “completely.”

The space agency’s Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle hasn’t had the same level of success as its workhorse PSLV — three of the fourteen missions launched so far have failed to reach orbit. In comparison, two of PSLV’s 53 missions were unsuccessful: the first in 1993, when the rocket was still in development, and the second, PSLV C-39, in 2017, when the satellite’s heat shield failed to open.

Liquid fuel strap-on motors, a solid-fuel first stage, a liquid fuel second stage, and a cryogenic (liquefied gases held at extremely low temperatures) third stage are all used in the vehicle. This was the eighth time Isro had flown the vehicle’s indigenous cryogenic third stage.

The Indian space agency’s GSLV Mk III spacecraft, dubbed “Bahubali,” carried the Chandrayaan-2 on its first operational mission and will be sending men to space during the Gaganyaan Mission. The vehicle’s four flights, including one suborbital flight, were all successful.

This was Isro’s second mission in 2020 after the previous PSLV launched Brazil’s earth observation satellite Amazonia-1 as the primary payload on a commercial mission in February. Following that, all missions were halted due to the pandemic’s second wave.

This year, Isro plans three more launches, including the first flights of its new tiny satellite launch vehicle (SSLV).

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