Nellore: The assembly of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which is due to launch an earth observation satellite (EOS) in the third quarter, has been stopped at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota range, according to reliable sources.
Engineers were tight-lipped when asked for the reasons for the standstill. Sources said that the first stage of the rocket had been assembled and they were awaiting directions to proceed further.
On August 4, Union minister of state for space, Jithendra Singh had told Nama Nageswara Rao in Parliament that the PSLV rocket, numbered C52, would launch EOS-04 in the third quarter.
In fact, four EOSes were to have been launched in the last two quarters.
Apart from PSLV-C52, according to the minister, the GSLV-F10 was to launch the EOS3 in the third quarter followed in the fourth quarter by the first developmental flight of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle, SSLV-D1 with the EOS-02 and the launch of EOS-06 aboard the PSLV-C53.
Of these, the GSLV-F10 was launched on August 12 but was unsuccessful. The failure was attributed to a technical anomaly in the cryogenic stage but ISRO is yet to disclose the exact reasons for the failure.
Searching for an explanation for the delay, a former ISRO engineer opined that the government’s decision to involve the private sector in space missions could be the reason for rocket launches getting rescheduled.
ISRO has formed IN-SPACe, an independent body housed in the department of space, which will regulate and promote private sector activities. The Indian Space Association (ISpA), the premier industry association of space and satellite companies, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 11....