India’s PSLV’s 41st flight began at 1900 hours IST from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. It was carrying the eighth satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), the IRNSS-H1, which was meant to be placed into a Sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO).
However, the mission has been deemed to be a failure because the satellite is trapped inside the heat shield, which failed to separate to release the satellite.
ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar made the following statement before the media:
“While all the systems of the launch vehicle have performed extremely well, we had a mishap: the heat shield has not separated. As a result, the satellite is enclosed in the body of the fourth stage. All the functions of the launch vehicle were normal. We are getting into the details of what has happened, and we will do the analysis and subsequently come back with the details.”
It could be seen from the camera images that the satellite was moving inside the enclosure. The satellite is close to the intended orbit, but cannot be made use of as it is still enclosed in the heat shield.