Kasturirangan declines comment on rocket programme review

January 3rd, 2011 - 10:29 pm ICT by IANS  

ISRO Chennai, Jan 3 (IANS) Former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Kasturirangan, who will head a seven-member committee to look into the future of India’s heavy rocket geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) programme, Monday declined to speak on the subject.Queried about ISRO’s announcement to review the entire GSLV programme after the failure of a rocket Dec 25, Kasturirangan, currently a member of the Planning Commission, told IANS: “It is true a committee has been set up under my chairmanship. But I will not comment now as a team has to go into various issues.”

On Dec 31, ISRO announced the setting up of two expert committees - one to review the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) rocket programme and the other to look into reasons for Dec 25 rocket failure.

The seven-member GSLV programme review and strategy committee will look into the future of the GSLV rocket programme, assured launch of INSAT/GSAT Series, INSAT-3D as well as Chandrayaan-2. It will also examine the realisation and operationalisation of an indigenous cryogenic engine and the strategy for meeting the demands of communication transponders in the immediate future.

To a query whether the review of GSLV programme includes its scrapping if warranted Kasturirangan said: “The issue is serious. First the committee has to study the issues involved. I am not in a position to comment now.”

The GSLV review committee comes in the wake of the recurring failures of the GSLV rockets. Out of the seven flights till date, only two were successful and one a partial success. Three GSLV rockets along with their satellites failed, costing the nation around Rs.920 crore.

The first the GSLV rocket flew in 2001 when ISRO was headed by Kasturirangan. Media persons who attended that press meet remember Kasturirangan shedding tears of joy after the launch.

ISRO developed the GSLV rocket to launch heavy communication satellites on its own, instead of depending on other space agencies.

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