ISRO stared at first major failure as heat shield of navigation satellite failed to get separated trapping it in outer space.
The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) dream run in launching satellites today hit a hump when the maiden launch of India’s first private-sector manufactured satellite, the IRNSS-1H, got trapped in the heat shield and was declared unsuccessful.
ISRO chief AS Kiran Kumar later told the media that the satellite’s protective heat shield, which is expected to separate and drop off, failed to do so.
The heat shield of a satellite is meant to protect it from the heat generated by the friction against atmosphere during take-off. After the satellite is placed in the orbit it failed to separate and fall off. Thus the satellite is in orbit, but trapped in the heat shield and cannot function.
ISRO chief said an enquiry has been ordered and that the space agency will get to the bottom of the problem.
The 1,425 kg Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS for short) was successfully launched through the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The satellite was expected to fill in for one of the seven orbiting satellite of NAViC, which is malfunctioning. NAVIC, which is a system of seven satellites, powers India’s homegrown Global Positioning System.
The launch of IRNSS-1H became necessary after three atomic clocks of one satellite started malfunctioning. Atomic clocks provide navigational data, and they are crucial for a Global positioning system.
The launch, as usual, took place from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh,
The IRNSS-1H, was built by a consortium led by Alpha Design Technologies, a defence equipment supplier from Bengaluru, over eight months. Led by Colonel HS Shankar, a team of 70 scientists from ISRO supervised the operations.