Saturday, December 25, 2010
"This is the dramatic moment when India's ambitious space programme suffered one of its biggest setback when an advanced communication satellite exploded within a minute after its launch. A stunned Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) did not give the reason for the blast in the sky but an officer told IANS that there was a fault in the second stage of the launch. 'The rocket's first stage seemed to have performed normally. The problem seems to have cropped up in the second stage as the rocket didn't get sufficient thrust,' he said. But another official insisted that even the first stage was a failure. The multi-million pound 310 kg GSAT-5P satellite, was to serve the needs of the telecommunication sector and the weather department. It was at 4.04 p.m. that ISRO launched the rocket, with the satellite, in clear sky from the Sriharikota space centre, about 80 km from Chennai."