India’s eighth navigation satellite imploded shortly after lift off on Thursday, state-run Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said.
The forty first flight of India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C39), conducted today (August 31, 2017) evening from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota, was unsuccessful. PSLV-C39 had a normal lift-off at 1900 hrs IST (7:00 pm) and all the flight events took place exactly as planned, except heat shield separation.
This resulted in satellite separation occurring within the heat shield. The satellite is inside the heat shield resulting in the unsuccessful mission.
Detailed analysis is under progress to identify the cause of the anomaly in the heat shield separation event.
The IRNSS-1H satellite had been expected to join seven others in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) to take the country a step further to developing its own global positioning system.
“Satellite got separated internally but it imploded within the heat shield, in the fourth stage itself,” ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said. The heat shield is meant to protect the satellite from the heat generated by the friction against atmosphere during take-off.
Once a satellite is placed into orbit, it is expected to separate and fall off. The IRNSS-1H satellite had been released from the Sriharikota Space Centre in southern India