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India suspends its space missions as ISRO’s third attempt to launch satellite fails

India’s space mission fails as the Gisat-1 satellite fails during its launching stages. With this set-back, all further space missions have been put on hold as ISRO investigates what went wrong.

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On Thursday morning, Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) mission to put the state-of-the-art Geo Imaging Satellite (Gisat-1) failed at Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Sriharikota Island in eastern India.

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F10 (GSLV-F10) took off on its scheduled time at 5. 43 am and the core stage of burn out happened successfully. Second stage ignition also happened on its time, however, the cryogenic stage did not ignite, rendering the mission a failure.

“Due to a technical anomaly in the cryogenic stage, the mission could not be fully accomplished,” ISRO chairman K Sivan said addressing the team of scientists and engineers at Sriharikota after the mission.

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A failure analysis committee (FAC) has been formed to assess the shortcomings that led to the failure of the satellite launch. All other space missions by the ISRO have been put on hold until the investigation is completed.

This was ISRO’s third attempt to launch the satellite. The first schedule launch was supposed to take place on 5th March 2020, however one day before the event, the launch was postponed.

Earlier this year, ISRO again showed confidence in launching the satellite but due to some voltage problem, the launch didn’t happen.

Designed to provide near real-time images of large “areas of region of interest” at frequent intervals, the satellite was to be a kind of advanced ‘eye in the sky’ and also held the potential of aiding the country’s armed forces to plan operations.

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This one of a kind satellite has been created to provide spectral signatures for agriculture, forestry, mineralogy, disaster warning, cloud properties, snow, glaciers and oceanography. It is also expected to boost India’s abilities by providing near real-time observation of the sub-continent, under cloud-free conditions, at frequent intervals.

ISRO chairman K Sivan had told Times of India before the launch on Wednesday: “Unlike satellites in LEO (low Earth orbit) this will provide a continuous view and will be really helpful in meteorological planning, agriculture, and disaster warning among other things.”

According to ISRO, the satellite weights 2,268 kg, is equipped with six-band multispectral visible & near-InfraRed imaging sensor with 42m resolution, 158-band hyper-spectral visible & near-InfraRed sensor with 318m resolution and 256-band hyper-spectral short wave-InfraRed sensor with 191m resolution.

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The ISRO plans to send two unmanned missions to check its rocket and the human capsule before sending its astronauts into space but now with this failed mission, ISRO will be extra careful.

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