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Fuel Leak Prompts Postponement of GSLV Launch

An ISRO GSLV rocket. Credit: ISRO photo

WASHINGTON — The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) postponed the launch of its Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Aug. 19 about two hours before the scheduled liftoff after a fuel leak was detected on the rocket’s second stage, ISRO announced.

The upcoming GSLV-D5 mission is the first flight of the rocket since a pair of failures in 2010 and the second featuring ISRO’s indigenously developed cryogenic upper stage. Previous versions of the GSLV had used a Russian-built cryogenic upper stage.

In a press release, ISRO said the fuel leak was detected during pressurization of the vehicle’s second stage. ISRO said the liquid propellants were being drained from the vehicle’s second and upper stages as well as its four strap-on boosters, and that the rocket would be rolled back to its assembly building for “further actions.”

A new launch date will be announced after a detailed assessment, ISRO said.

The payload on the upcoming mission is the GSat-14 telecommunications satellite, according to the latest annual report posted on ISRO’s website. According to the report, corrective actions have been taken following reviews of the 2010 failures, one of which involved the indigenous cryogenic upper stage.

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