The melancholic silence which enveloped the mission control tower at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota was grim evidence enough on how badly the country’s top scientists took the news of the Geo-Stationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F06) exploding minutes after being launched on Saturday.
The spacecraft exploded midair minutes after being launched at 4:04 PM from the spaceport due to a technical demand.
The GSLV had the GSAT-5P satellite onboard, which was intended to replace the INSAT-2E.
Built at about Rs 1.25 crore, the originally scheduled date of December 20 was postponed to Christmas Day after a leak was detected inside one of the valves of the cryogenic engines.
The GSAT-5P was carrying 24 C-band and 12 extended C-band transponders.
The spacecraft exploded in the first stage of the take off, putting an end to the scientists’ hopes of successfully putting the GSLV into orbit, after the April 15 setback in with the GSLV-D3 failed and plunged into the Bay of Bengal.