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ISRO scientists to discuss cryo failure
Chennai, Apr 16 (IANS):
Published on 16 Apr. 2010 11:27 PM IST
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Indian space scientists will meet in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday to discuss the reasons for the failure of Thursday’s rocket mission, which was for the first time powered by an Indian-built cryogenic engine.
Meanwhile, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is collecting data on the rocket launch to arrive at the reason for the failure.
The scientists will start reviewing the data at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram Saturday.
Scientists said they have to “work overtime” to arrive at a conclusion on why the mission failed.
ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan announced Thursday that the reasons for the failure will be made public in three days’ time.
ISRO scientists had been working on developing the cryogenic engine for the past 18 years and were naturally upset when the rocket plummetted into the Bay of Bengal, minutes after the launch from Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.
However, they are raring to go again and are full of admiration for the ISRO chief.
During the media conference post the launch, Radhakrishnan was calm and composed and also exuded confidence that his team would bounce back with the launch of a rocket powered by an indigenously developed cryogenic engine in a year’s time.
On Thursday, ISRO’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) rocket plunged into the sea within minutes of the lift-off because the main cryogenic engine failed to ignite.
At the mission control room when all other scientists were visibly disappointed, Radhakrishnan did not show his feelings.
“He remained cool,” GSLV project director G. Ravindranath told IANS.
“Though such a launch is a calculated risk, we had taken pains that the mission should not fail. The countdown was completed without any hitch. Originally scheduled for launch last December and early this year, it was delayed in order to go in for a detailed national review of the data,” he added.
He said 50 percent of the spacecraft’s velocity is gained during the final stage and hence the cryogenic engine is a necessity.
According to ISRO officials, Radhakrishnan is a hard task master but takes his team along with him.
During the media conference at Bhramprakash Hall in Sriharikota, Radhakrishnan chose to field all the questions himself.

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