India’s top space scientists backed ISRO to bring PSLV back to its glory but acknowledged that yesterday’s failure is a matter of concern and hurting as the rocket had a good track record.
Striking a note of caution against complacency, they urged team ISRO not to lose heart, and reposed confidence in the space agency’s ability to bounce back.
The PSLV-C39 mission carrying the replacement navigation satellite IRNSS-1H failed yesterday. ISRO said PSLV-C39 had a normal lift-off 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”, according to ISRO.
Former ISRO Chairman K Kasturirangan said the space agency has gone through unsuccessful missions in the past, particularly in the early phase of the country’s space programme.
“Every time we have come back with redoubled vigour and made sure that not only it (failure) does not repeat, the probability of these things happening is minimised,” he told PTI.
“But space is certainly a risky endeavour. So, one has to keep allowance for it. One should not be complacent, do the best and then leave the rest of it to providence because there is a small component of probability that in spite of every thing being done, in what we call as perfect, there can something which can be residual. So, we should not be complacent,” Kasturirangan said.
“We had an extraordinary string of successes with PSLV, so it’s all the more hurting because of the fact that we expect 100 per cent success every time to we do with PSLV,” he said. Kasturirangan said he has no doubt ISRO would move forward with redoubled vigour and greater determination.
“One satellite was involved and certainly (it’s) a setback in that sense but there is no question of looking back; we have to look forward; they (ISRO) have got a big agenda for space and ambitious agenda; it can be fulfilled only with courage of conviction, determination and exceptional technical professionalism. In all these, ISRO is now well known and established its credentials,” he said.
PSLV had a record of 39 consecutive successful launches ever since its maiden flight failed more than two decades ago.
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