Rocket Carrying Largest Indian Communications Satellite Explodes 47 Seconds After Launch

Tyler Durden's picture

One of the Christmas day stories getting little attention was the explosion of the rocket carrying what would have been the largest Indian telecommunications satellite. As BBC explains: "An Indian space rocket carrying the country's largest communications satellite has exploded shortly after launch. Live television coverage showed the rocket vanishing in a plume of smoke moments after lift-off from Sriharikota near the city of Chennai (Madras). The Indian Space Reserach Organisation said it believed the explosion was caused by an electronic failure." The satellite that would have been launched is the GSAT-5P: "GSAT-5P was a 2,310-kilogram (5,100 lb) spacecraft, which was built by the Indian Space Research Organisation based around the I-2K satellite bus. It was equipped with 36 transponders operating in the G/H band of the NATO-defined spectrum, or the C band of the older IEEE spectrum. Twelve of the transponders operated on extended frequencies within the band. GSAT-5P was expected to operate for at least 12 years, and would have been placed at a longitude of 55 degrees east." A video of the explosion is attached below. There is no evidence of foul play or less than gross incompetence at this point. It is also unclear if AIG was the company insuring the satellite and/or rocket. Lastly, to the best of our knowledge, this is one satellite incident that has not cost Phil Falcone hundreds of millions.

Some more from AP:

Television images showed the rocket exploding in smoke and fire just after it launched from the Sriharikota space center in Andhra Pradesh state. It was carrying a GSAT-5P communication satellite into orbit.

The vehicle developed an error 47 seconds after liftoff and lost command, leading to a higher angle in the flight, said K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization.

"That caused a higher stress, breaking up the vehicle," Radhakrishnan told reporters.

In April, a similar rocket on a developmental flight plunged into the Bay of Bengal. The ISRO said its rotor seized and turbine casing ruptured, probably due to excessive pressure and thermal stresses.

Yashpal, a retired Indian scientist and independent commentator, said he was very disappointed by Saturday's failure, but other countries too have experienced such problems.

"I hope it's just one of those things," Yashpal, who uses one name, told reporters.

India is planning its first manned space flight in 2016.

An Indian satellite launched in 2008 to orbit the moon was abandoned last year after communication links snapped and scientists lost control of the satellite.

India is the fifth country after United States, Russia, China and France to enter the commercial satellite launch market.

The country has sought to convert its rise as an economic power — built on a thriving high-tech sector — into global clout in other areas.


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Azannoth's picture

The biggest firecracker of 2010 LOL

vamsy's picture

+1 to the above comment.

But I think it is too early to bring AIG into the picture.

Malcolm Tucker's picture

The banks have a bigger liability on their hands once this gets exposed:

No it's not MBS putbacks or Foreclosure Gate. It's plain old Joe SixPack level liability. Class action lawsuit anyone?

Cursive's picture

Only made funnier by the juxtaposition of the exploding rocket and "Merry Christmas" in the lefthand corner of the video.  Everyone's a cynic these days.....

King_of_simpletons's picture

It is even funnier due to the AP reporter's narration. First he says among many blunders that the launch was in Sri Lanka (a different country, mind you), then he talks about some "Chronologic" engine failure. This fucking AP is the same driving liberal opinion in this country.

EsseQuamVideri's picture

The most expensive firecracker of 2010*

dhengineer's picture

And I thought I was having a bad day...

williambanzai7's picture

There goes 1-800-MUMBAI-HOT-TALK

jahbless's picture

oh man, time to bust out my far side collections - thanks for the reminder, WB7!

Millivanilli's picture





Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

If they are not rocket scientists, what are they then?

Misstrial's picture

+1000 williambanzai7


A lot of the self-promotional "hot talk" coming out of India and its engineers is simply marketing.

Realize that the Indian guy, Anand Vasudev, on The Apprentice who was fired for cheating is nothing out of the ordinary for Indians.

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

I wonder if they have tested their nukes recently?

I do not trust them thare Pakistanees. They can not be trusted. Way too many Christians in Pakistan.

Bartanist's picture

There were rumors that there was a nuclear explosion in an Indian bunker that showed up on seismic monitors a little over a month ago.... so my guess is if recently is within the last month, then probably.

Oh regional Indian's picture


+1947 for ironically apropos Bollywood reference.

And that merry christmas on the top left corner of the opening screen is the weirdest juxtapositions I've seen in a long time.


dark pools of soros's picture

surreal... merry christmas for broken window economics

Cursive's picture


Wow.  Posted almost the exact same thing, including use of "juxtaposition" above, before I read this post.  :D

Oh regional Indian's picture

Cursive, was just reading the thread and thought the same thing.

For a moment I thought that was me writing up-thread, cursively of course ;-)


old naughty's picture

Guess they won't get away with "We were expecting good run..." on that one.

In-sensitive bitchez.

Let's just say Not-too-bad 2011 to all.

High Plains Drifter's picture

You can call me Jay, you can call me Ray.

Azannoth's picture

We need more private sector in space exploration

gloomboomdoom's picture

JFK was a doomer and failed President. I agree. Moon Landing Conspiracy, bitchez.

Here is a nice TD for you, sir. HOW DOES IT FEEL!?!?!?! haha

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Failed President?  Jack and his brother did more for the country than anyone since.  And you as an amateur astronomer?

Jimmy Twinkle's picture

Initial reports seem to suggest that the late addition of a 

5gB hard disk to the satellites payload manifest may

have contributed to the launch failure.

nasa's picture

I guess we can rule out the Indians on who fired the missle off the CA coast last month.

High Plains Drifter's picture

These are the same guys that are going to start making ten dollar lap tops. Thanks but no thanks. I think I will save myself the ten bucks.

Oh regional Indian's picture

I hope it was just one of those things??? 

that was a lame comment from a commentator who goes by only one name.

And the rocket was actually destroyed from the ground as it was veering dangerously off course.

We really have better things to do with our money.


I ask again and again and again, where do we fit?



ebworthen's picture

Better things?

No, no. 

They needed to have the satellite orbiting to enable the broadcast of pictures of unrealistically beautiful people grooming and consuming and pursuing narcissistic goals of sexual, gastronomical, and material gratification; while having people pay to watch it all and feel inadequate.

I would say they should have consulted NASA - but NASA slammed a hundred millions $omething'$ probe into Mars because they didn't convert English to Metric in one component.

High Plains Drifter's picture

You think they would use some of that hard earned IMF money on cleaning up the Ganges and getting all of those dead bodies out of there.

Oh regional Indian's picture

eb, spot on regarding the NASA reference. As I had to point out to an offensive Englishman downthread, Challenger And Columbia and the Apollo guys who were killed on the test pad... space is a high stakes game.

Just like CERN is a high stakes game.

The whole space race and now supposed war (young english hacker facing extradition to the US, his finding is just mind-boggling, Gary McKinnon, but he apparently found US Space Command with fleet details and names)...

Maybe NASA is just training ground for Space Command.

The rest is just public distraction.

It sure has the sense of a grand plan or a scheme.... fascinating.


King_of_simpletons's picture

Why do you keep defending when you are offended ? Just let it go. There are assholes everywhere. There are assholes who want all the jews killed. There are assholes who want indian 'vermins' exterminated. Don't feed these assholes. Let it go. You will be wasting a lot of kilo joules arguing with these trolls.

Oh regional Indian's picture

KOS, good advice and taken to heart.



Misstrial's picture

"Maybe NASA is just training ground for Space Command."


As the spouse of a NASA engineer, I would like to be the first to tell you that you are quite wrong. Next time, try to get it right.


King_of_simpletons's picture

I am sure spouses of NASA engineers are debriefed on national security apparatus.

old naughty's picture

"...grand plan or a scheme...fascinating"

Looking for doomsday prticle, out to meet or preparing war with the aliens?

May be mending the matrix to better-control us sheeples?

Fascinating madness.

Saxxon's picture

This brings back memories of the Challenger 1986 with the school teacher on board.  I remember watching that thing explode standing in the chow hall at Futenma Air Station. We as humans are not getting any farther out into the solar system; the real PTB are not going to allow the contagion any further.

London Dude Trader's picture

When I saw that on TV yesterday for a second I thought another one of Falcone's satellites had gone up in smoke... Anyway so much for the Indian Space Agency, they better stick to what they do best ie making curry. 

Oh regional Indian's picture

That was a lame and dimwitted and overtly racial comment. No surprise from an uncouth englishman.

Heard of the Space shuttle's' Challenger and Columbia?

So what would you suggest NASA do, since Indian's should make curry powder?

Try cracking this lame line to an Indian waiter next time you are in an Indian restaurant, clumsily, messily eating curry chicken and washing it down with a warm one.


vamsy's picture

Come on dude. If the previous comment was racial then what is yours?

It's OK. Science works this way - It's OK to fail sometimes. I would be very suspicious if everything works (espcecially rocket science) all the time.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Vamsy-da, it is okay.

innately rude people only understand rudeness and his silly, dim-witted comment proved him as such. TO me anyways.



Oh regional Indian's picture

Hah, very good Trav, you've obviously worked with a few H1B's eh?


London Dude Trader's picture

Yes since you brought it up, I'm well aware of what waiters in Indian curry houses are capable of doing. A few years ago a female police detective and one of her girlfriends went for an Indian meal in Birmingham, UK. One of the  waiters in the restaurant very inappropriately made persistent advances on the policewoman, who incidentally had just lost her husband, and was obviously turned down by her. Since the woman wasn't very hungry she didn't eat most of her main course and asked that it be put in a bag so that she could take it away with her. As soon as she got home she started feeling very ill - food poisoning. The next day she took the rest of the meal she'd had put in a bag to the police lab for analysis. Guess what they found, among other nasty stuff: HUMAN SEMEN. So yes, even though I love Indian food, I'm always careful what I talk about when I'm dining at an Indian restaurant.