Indian Rocket Launch Fails, Earth Observation Satellite Lost

GSLV booster on its way to the launch pad. (Credit: ISRO)

SRIHARIKOTA, India — The GSLV-F10 launch took place on Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 0543 IST as scheduled. Performance of first and second stages was normal. However, cryogenic upper stage ignition did not happen due to technical anomaly. The mission couldn’t be accomplished as intended.

EOS-03 was a state-of-the-art agile Earth observation satellite which was to have been placed in a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit by GSLV-F10. The satellite was to have reached its final geostationary orbit using its onboard propulsion system.

A 4-meter diameter Ogive shaped payload fairing was flown for the first time on this GSLV flight. It was the fourteenth flight of the GSLV rocket. The rocket has a record of eight successes, four failures and two partial failures.

Hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, India has only launched four times since the beginning of 2000. The three previous flights during that period were successful. India typically conducts about six launches annually.