The launch of IRNSS-1H, India’s first private sector manufactured satellite has been announced as unsuccessful by ISRO. AS Kiran Kumar, the head of ISRO’s space agency, who supervised the launch, has said that the protective shield of the launch vehicle which separates from the satellite failed to do so resulting in failure of its launch.
The failure of IRNSS-1H is the second failure of PSLV which was in its 41st mission to take the 1425 kg satellite up to space. The trouble in the launch began as soon as 3 minutes after the launch but its outcome was known only after 19 minutes had passed.
The PSLV-C39 took the satellite to orbit but the rocket inside which the satellite is enclosed did not open. The Times of India quotes ISRO chairman Kiran Kumar saying,
The mission was unsuccessful. All stages of the mission performed well. But there was a mishap. The satellite is still inside the fourth stage. The heat shield did not separate, as a result the satellite is enclosed in the body of the fourth stage. So, the mission is unsuccessful. We have to check heat shield separation command and whatever happened subsequently and it will be analysed. We could see the satellite circling along the orbit along with the heat shield.
The satellite was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, and was supposed to replace IRNSS-1A, the first satellite of NAViC in the constellation whose rubidium atomic clocks have stopped functioning. Rubidium atomic clocks are a key element of accurate location information that stopped functioning in IRNSS-1A because of issues such as temperature, electronic power supply and rubidium bulb that produces light. The satellite will, however, continue to provide messaging service.