Madhavan Nair on the GSLV Failure

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as http://parallelspirals.blogspot.com. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on December 31, 2010 as per the time stamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

Madhavan Nair made a comment to IANS that was carried to many news carriers about the GSLV failure. He made some interesting remarks:

‘On the day of the failure it was announced the connectors relaying the command led to the rocket’s failure. We have revisited and have confirmed that the connectors located between the cryogenic engine and the lower stage (engine) snapped. We have to find why the snapping happened,’ Nair said.

‘As per the data there are no indications of any control command from the onboard computers to the rocket engines,’ he said.

He said simulated experiments will have to be carried out to find out why the connectors got disconnected from the rocket.

‘Whether vibrations or external forces led to the snapping of connectors has to be found out. We will have to conduct simulation experiments to find that out,’ Nair said.

To a query as to why the ISRO was taking a long time to come out with a preliminary report, he said: ‘The preliminary data runs into more than 100 pages even though the flight is of around 50 seconds.’

As written yesterday, the Russians did come out with a report pretty quickly and did another launch after fixing the faulty system on the Proton rocket to give it 12 launches this year – it’s record/year since 2000. If India intends to capture the commercial satellite launch market, its system must also be as flexible. On the question of dummy payloads to test launches, Madhavan Nair responds:

On a suggestion of using a dummy payload instead of a real satellite costing around Rs.150 crore till the ISRO stabilises its heavier rocket, Nair said: ‘The efforts required for both are more or less the same. However, if the satellite is slung into the orbit then it throws up an opportunity to earn higher revenue.’

I am guessing he is merely being optimistic here. He has spoken about what would happen if the satellite/dummy successfully orbits but there is a loss if it does not.

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