Millennium Post

Launch of GSLV-D5 called off due to fuel leak

The Indian space agency on Monday called off the launch of its heavy rocket, the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV-D5), due to a leak in the second-stage engine, said a top official.

Announcing this to the media, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan said: ‘The countdown for the rocket launch was progressing well. Two hours before the scheduled launch time, we observed a leak in the fuel system of the second-stage engine.’

‘Because of that, we are calling off the launch. The liquid fuel in the second stage and the four strap-on motors of the first stage and the cryogenic engine will be drained,’ he said. According to him, the rocket, which cost Rs.160 crore, will then be moved to the rocket assembly building to make an assessment of the leak’s cause and the action that needs to be taken.

The satellite costs Rs.45 crore. He said the revised launch date will be announced after the leak assessment. The notable aspect of the rocket is that its cryogenic engine was developed by ISRO.

Before the failed launch, the countdown was put on hold for some time and an emergency meeting was called where a decision was taken to hold the launch. The fuel leak was also visible on the television screen at the launch centre.


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