GSLV-F10, an Earth Observation satellite, takes off from Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota on Thursday. AP
An Indian rocket, first Geo-Imaging Satellite-1 (GISAT-1) renamed as Earth observation Satellite-03 (EOS-03), seems to have been jinxed from the start as it failed in its attempt Thursday to put a satellite into orbit to provide real-time images used to monitor cyclones and other potential natural disasters.
A technical fault occurred in the third and final ignition stage shortly after the rocket was launched from the space center in Sriharikota in southern India, the country's space agency said.
In a setback for the country's space programme, the satellite was to be geostationary, meaning it would orbit in sync with the Earth and remain over a fixed position. But while the liftoff was smooth, the rocket failed in its final phase, the Indian Space Research Organisation said.
India's earth observation satellite EOS-03 lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India. Reuters
It would provide images of cloud bursts and thunderstorms and obtain data for agriculture, forestry and marine purposes.
The space agency did not disclose what would happen to the rocket and satellite after the ignition failure.
A US-based astronomer Jonathan McDowell said the satellite and the rocket probably fell into the Andaman Sea, west of Thailand.
India has built a reputation as a maker of earth imaging satellites and the ability to launch them into low orbits at a fraction of the cost of Western agencies.
But over the past several years, it has moved into the more lucrative area of launching heavier geostationary satellites that are used for communications and meteorology.
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