Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which recently witnessed the unsuccessful launch of its eighth navigation satellite ‘IRNSS-1H', has said that it suspects failure of pyro elements could have been the reason, a senior official said.
On August 31, ISRO had attempted to launch the IRNSS-1H but the heat shield of the rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle’s (PSLV) XL variant carrying the satellite failed to separate.
Following the failure of the pyro elements, the separation couldn’t take place, as a result of which, the IRNSS-1H satellite weighing 1,425 kg got stuck inside. This led to the failure of around Rs 250 crore mission.
In normal cases, the heat shield gets separated as soon as the rocket crosses the atmosphere of the Earth. During the rocket’s flight, all the systems worked well and the only suspect place is the pyro elements, K Sivan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), said.
The VSSC is part of ISRO. “Tests are going on to find out the reasons for the failure of heat shield separation. Each test takes around 72 hours,” Sivan was quoted as saying by a news agency.
Since the rocket was not lost during its journey, ISRO has all the flight data, and this is one fortunate aspect. The heat shield gets separated after on-board computers give command to ignite the explosives, said Sivan.
The explosives then ignite and explode as a result of which the two parts of the heat shield joined by bolts get separated.