The Indian Space Research Organization suffered a launch failure on Thursday, August 31st when a rocket issue put the satellite in the wrong orbit. The satellite was intended to be used as part of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), a regional system similar to the U.S.’ Global Positioning System.
"There has been a variation in the performance from the preflight prediction.." ISRO commentator
— Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) August 31, 2017
The satellite, IRNSS-1H, is the 8th navigation satellite in the constellation. The PLSV rocket carrying the satellite launched at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time. (13:30 GMT). Once in orbit the navigation satellite was intended to replace an earlier satellite, IRNSS-1A, whose atomic clocks failed in 2016.
This is the first failure of the PSLV rocket since September, 1997, and the first failure for the PSLV-XL variant.
ISRO confirms that payload fairing did not separate during ascent as planned.
— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) August 31, 2017
The fairing is a two-piece shield that protects the satellite payload from the atmosphere during launch ascent into orbit. Without payload fairing separation, the satellite cannot extend its solar panels to charge its batteries.