The three-stage geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV), which failed an 15 April mission, will under go flight-testing next year, says K Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation.

Although the exact cause of the failure of the GSLV mission is still under investigation by an ISRO failure analysis committee, the inability of the Indian-made upper cryogenic engine stage to ignite is blamed for the unsuccessful GSLV flight.

"We have come across a few scenarios after detailed analysis of the failure. Now the immediate task is to test it on the ground and we look forward to relaunching it next year," Radhakrishnan says. ISRO plans to use the homegrown GSLV to launch India's Insat-class, 2t domestic spacecraft.

During the April launch attempt, GSLV-D3 vehicle performance was normal through the second stage. After a 293s burn of the first two stages, cryogenic stage was supposed to ignite and burn for about 720s, sending the GSAT-4 satellite into the intended geosynchronous transfer orbit. The third stage never lit and the vehicle tumbled, lost altitude and eventually splashed down in the sea.

Radhakrishnan says India's second lunar mission, set for launch in 2013, will be put into orbit with a GSLV. Chandrayaan-II is a joint Indo-Russian mission to put robotic rovers, one from each partner nation, on the Moon. Like its predecessor, Chandrayaan-II will also carry international scientific instruments.

ISRO is also studying the necessary technology to put humans into a near Earth orbit, a project planned for 2015-16.

"Essentially, we are looking at the crew module and environmental control and life support systems," Radhakrishnan says.

To realise the human spaceflight mission, ISRO is standing up a variety of facilities including a crew training centre and a third launch pad at Satish Dhawan space centre on Sriharikota Island, off India's eastern coast.

Source: Flight International