The occasion was bereft of any jubilation. No handshakes or greetings and a stoic silence as India’s navigation satellite launch mission ended in a failure. This was the scene at the Mission Control Centre in the Space Centre of ISRO in Sriharikota as the mission to launch the IRNSS-1H satellite ended unsuccessfully. What had begun with cheerful claps by scientists for each successful stage of the PSLV-C39 mission turned into anxiety after the prolonged stationary blinking on the main monitors indicated a glitch. There was even a palpable pause in the commentary of the live telecast seeing the sudden sombre mood at the Mission Control Centre after the polar rocket reached the crucial and final fourth stage. It was by then apparent that ISRO’s tryst with successful launches, using its trusted workhorse PSLV, had taken a hit. After the heat shield of the PSLV-C39 failed to get separated, ISRO Chairman termed the mission as unsuccessful amid the pall of gloom descending over the centre. Thus nation’s first Pvt-Govt satellite launch venture went cropper and the scientists at ISRO will have to start from the scratch.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)