Indian satellite rocket explodes after lift-off

Dec 25, 2010
An Indian rocket blasts off from a launch pad at Sriharikota in April 2007. An Indian space rocket carrying a communications satellite exploded Saturday after lifting off from southern India, TV footage showed.

An Indian space rocket carrying an advanced communications satellite was destroyed by mission control Saturday following a malfunction after lift-off, officials said.

Live television pictures showed the rocket exploding in a plume of smoke and fire moments after taking off from the Sriharikota launch site, some 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the southern city of Chennai.

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) veered from its intended flight path and was intentionally blown up 47 seconds after lift off, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K. Radhakrishnan told reporters.

The GSLV exploded "at an altitude of eight kilometres (4.9 miles) and the debris have fallen in deep sea," Radhakrishnan said, referring to the Bay of Bengal.

"Data indicates commands from onboard computers ceased to reach circuits of the first stage (engines) but what caused the interruption needs to be studied and we hope to get an assessment of what triggered this," Radhakrishnan said.

The Christmas Day launch had originally been scheduled for December 20 but was postponed after engineers discovered a leak in one of the Russian-designed engines of the GSLV, the United News of India agency said.

In July, an Indian rocket successfully put five satellites into orbit, three months after the country's space ambitions suffered a setback when a rocket crashed on lift-off.

India began its space programme in 1963 and has developed its own satellites and launch vehicles to reduce its dependence on other countries.

It first staked its claim for a share of the global commercial launch market by sending an Italian satellite into orbit in 2007. In January 2008, it launched an Israeli spy satellite.

India aims to launch its first manned lunar mission in 2016 and wants to grab a larger share of the multi-billion-dollar market for launching commercial satellites.

Government funding of around 2.8 billion dollars has been secured for the moon project.

India in 2008 launched an unmanned satellite and put a probe on the moon's surface in an event that the state-owned ISRO hoped would give the country international recognition in the space business.

The probe's lunar landing vaulted India's up the league of space-faring nations led by the United States and regional competitors Russia, China and Japan and was seen as a symbolic and proud moment in the country's development.

But India still has a long way to go to catch up with China, which together with the US, Russia and the European Space Agency is already well established in the commercial space sector.

Explore further: Kazakh satellite to be launched into orbit

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

India launches five satellites into orbit

Jul 12, 2010

India successfully launched five satellites into orbit on Monday, three months after the country's space ambitions suffered a setback when a rocket crashed at lift-off.

Indian rocket flops, crashing into sea

Apr 15, 2010

An Indian rocket showcasing domestically built booster technology crashed soon after take-off on Thursday in a blow to the country's space ambitions, officials said.

India launches seven satellites: space agency

Sep 23, 2009

India successfully launched seven satellites including six from foreign countries on Wednesday, officials said, underlining the country's ambitions in the space business.

India launches first commercial rocket

Apr 23, 2007

India's first commercial rocket was fired into space Monday, carrying a 776-pound Italian satellite that will collect data on the origins of the universe.

Recommended for you

Kazakh satellite to be launched into orbit

18 hours ago

Kazakhstan's first-ever Earth observation satellite is to be fired into orbit next week from the European spaceport in Kourou in French Guiana, launch company Arianespace said.

Habitable exoplanets are bad news for humanity

20 hours ago

Last week, scientists announced the discovery of Kepler-186f, a planet 492 light years away in the Cygnus constellation. Kepler-186f is special because it marks the first planet almost exactly the same size as Earth ...

First-of-its-kind NASA space-weather project

Apr 23, 2014

A NASA scientist is launching a one-to-two-year pilot project this summer that takes advantage of U.S. high-voltage power transmission lines to measure a phenomenon that has caused widespread power outages ...

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ab3a
4 / 5 (1) Dec 25, 2010
Every Space-faring country has had it's share of rocket failures before they get their designs right. India is no exception. I hope they learn from this, and continue their endeavor.
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Dec 25, 2010
India aims to launch its first manned space mission in 2016 and wants to grab a larger share of the multi-billion-dollar market for launching commercial satellites


Considering 2 of their last 3 launches have been total catastrophic failures, a person would have to be a maniac to be in their space program for a manned 2016 launch.
Sarai_RSA
3 / 5 (1) Dec 25, 2010
Hee hee - gotta say, there are so many of them though, I'm sure it will be ok. ;) Okay, that's a joke in poor taste but anyone who has been to india (as have I) will testify to the fact that safety regulations and standards are considered a great deal more flexible in india than other countries around the world.
VeryEvilDudeofDarkness
not rated yet Dec 25, 2010
Like all space programs it's unsafe QC. We Americans have lost Astronauts in ours. Not only that , I believe that ours was brought up in less than 8 years.
Madhu_Kashyap
not rated yet Dec 28, 2010
Yea Guys.. Every1 is Rite in thr own point of view.. Xperiment n Xperience makes every1 Perfect.. So never Count Loss in Research, Just check for the gains.. Loss happens everywhr, India is no Xception.. So Hope th next 1 makes a Gud run to Space.. :)..

More news stories

Habitable exoplanets are bad news for humanity

Last week, scientists announced the discovery of Kepler-186f, a planet 492 light years away in the Cygnus constellation. Kepler-186f is special because it marks the first planet almost exactly the same size as Earth ...

Professional and amateur astronomers join forces

(Phys.org) —Long before the term "citizen science" was coined, the field of astronomy has benefited from countless men and women who study the sky in their spare time. These amateur astronomers devote hours ...

Google+ boss leaving the company

The executive credited with bringing the Google+ social network to life is leaving the Internet colossus after playing a key role there for nearly eight years.

Facebook woos journalists with 'FB Newswire'

Facebook launched Thursday FB Newswire, billed as an online trove of real-time information for journalists and newsrooms to mine while reporting on events or crafting stories.