India's attempt to launch a satellite using an indigenous cryogenic engine ended in failure today when the rocket deviated from its path midway and splashed down into the Bay of Bengal minutes later.
"The flight-testing of the indigenous cryogenic engine and the stage conducted in the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV-D3 this afternoon was not successful" ISRO said in a release.
The GSLV D3 took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh in a seemingly flawless lift-off. The scientists were also happily congratulating each other.
GSLV-D3 vehicle performance was normal up to the end of the second stage (GS2) till 293 seconds. But, then, things started going wrong and about eight minutes into the launch when the indigenously built Cryogenic engines failed to perform.
The vehicle was seen tumbling, lost altitude and finally splashed down in the sea.
The cryogenic stage was to ignite and burn for about 720 seconds to provide the necessary velocity to inject GSAT-4 satellite into the intended geosynchronous transfer orbit.
ISRO said it is yet to ascertain whether the cryogenic engine did ignite. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Radhakrishnan said the engines did fire and that an investigation would now be held to find out what went wrong.
Detailed analysis of the flight data is being carried out to find out the exact reasons for the failure and take corrective measures to realise the next flight test of the indigenous cryogenic engine and stage within the next one year, ISRO said.