The Indian space agency will assemble another engine to fly its heavy rocket geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV), while packing off the leaking one to its Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) for detailed study, an official said Tuesday.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had called off the launch of its GSLV rocket carrying the communication satellite GSAT-14 Aug 19 after the liquid fuel started leaking like a tap from the rocket’s second stage.
ISRO’s spaceport is located at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, around 80 km from here. The LPSC is situated at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu.
The GSLV is a three-stage launch vehicle with four strap-on motors hugging the first stage.
The first stage is powered by solid fuel while the four strap-on motors and the second stage are powered by liquid fuel. The third is the cryogenic engine powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.
“At the rocket assembly building, the satellite, cryogenic engine and the second stage have been destacked. It has been decided to shift the second stage to Mahendragiri for detailed inspection and study,” the ISRO official told IANS.
He said ISRO has also decided to start assembling another engine so that the GSLV could fly at the earliest.
Queried about the time-frame for the GSLV’s flight, he said: “It is not possible to give a time-frame for the GSLV’s flight now.”
In 2010, ISRO had to put off a PSLV launch as it found “a marginal drop in the pressure in the second stage of the vehicle during mandatory checks”.
At that time, the faulty part was inaccessible as the rocket stages had been fully assembled. ISRO had to dismantle the second stage to correct the fault.
In June this year, ISRO put off the launch of its PSLV rocket carrying India’s first navigational satellite after it found a problem in one of the electro-hydraulic control actuators in the second stage.
Here again, the fully-assembled rocket had to be dismantled to replace the actuator, an assembly of several components. The launch occurred successfully July 1.
However, ISRO officials told IANS that a pattern could be drawn only if the problem crops up consistently in a component/system.