GSLV failure hits manned mission

Chandrayaan II may get delayed too

Top Isro scientists working on the project told Deccan Herald: “The priority is investigation into the GSLV platform. Nobody is even talking about the human space project here. All work is on finding out the problems with the launch vehicle and ways to debug them.”

A source said as failures have outnumbered success in the case of GSLV, the organisation is giving utmost importance to see that such incidents don’t occur again. “We cannot afford more failures,” he added.

The proposed Indian Human Space Flight Programme, which is to launch an orbital vehicle carrying a two-member crew by 2015, will also have to be launched on a GSLV rocket that is yet to attain 100 per cent reliability.

What is at stake with the manned mission, in case of GSLV, is not only the estimated cost of Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 15,000 crore and Isro’s reputation, but also the lives of Indian astronauts. Safety needs to be the priority, and it requires thorough tests and evaluation.

Isro is confident of meeting its targets of sending more satellites using the launch vehicle, among other things, including GSAT-5P.  However, some scientists say it may take over five years for the GSLV platform to become completely reliable, thus leaving future space projects in limbo.

The failure of the launching platform also means delay in implementing Chandrayaan II, another expensive project (estimated to cost Rs 500 crore) to be launched on the platform.

Having decided to go on mostly Indian payloads, the project was scheduled for launch in 2013. However, this seems to be a hard task, considering the GSLV failures.
According to Isro, a GSLV-powered indigenous cryogenic engine will put Chandrayaan II into orbit.

Isro chairman has maintained that the failures will not affect Chandrayaan II. However, the platform not being completely reliable is a major cause for concern. And scientists believe that it may delay the mission.

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