An Indian rocket that went awry on its maiden flight has cast a cloud over the country’s plans to place smaller satellites into orbit and gain a foothold in the multi-billion-euro global launch market.
The 34-metre Small Satellite Launch Vehicle or SSLV was the latest and the cheapest entrant in India’s stable of three operational rockets and designed to carry satellites weighing between just five kilograms and 500 kilograms.
- Somanath, chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said the low-cost rocket put two satellites including one built by 75 schoolgirls into an elliptical rather than circular orbit at an altitude of 356 kilometres.
“But for that problem, we couldn’t see any other anomaly,” Somanath said after the much-awaited flight mission of the 3.6-million-euro rocket was deemed a failure.
“The satellites have already come down from that orbit and they are no longer usable,” he said after the 7 August flight, adding he was gearing up for another attempt,” he added.