December 03, 2013
Credit: GSLV: ISRO
India will make a fresh attempt to launch its Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D5) in January, carrying the GSAT-14 communications satellite, a scientist at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) says.
The exact date and time has yet to be determined.
The announcement comes more than three months after a previous launch attempt was called off due to a fuel leak in the rocket. On Aug. 19, a leak was spotted in the fuel system of the second stage during the prelaunch pressurization phase. Propellants were drained and the rocket moved back to the vehicle assembly building to assess the leak’s cause.
The GSLV is a three-stage vehicle and stands 49 meters (160 ft.) tall, with a 414-ton liftoff weight. It has a maximum diameter of 3.4 meters at the payload fairing.
The first stage is powered by solid fuel, while the four strap-on motors and second stage are powered by liquid fuel. The third stage features a cryogenic engine powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.
Technicians have integrated the second stage of GSLV-D5, while the integration of the cryogenic stage is set for Dec. 9, the ISRO scientist says.
The vehicle is expected to be moved to the launch pad at Sriharikota in south India on Dec. 28. “After the vehicle is brought to the launch pad, we need at least a week for the launch,” the scientist says.
Previous attempts to launch the GSLV have ended in disappointment, including a December 2010 failure in which the vehicle and payload were lost.