Launch vehicle GSLV-D1
Launch site Sriharikota Range, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, India
Date/Time 2001-04-18
Description Third stage partial failure
Cause n/a
Payload GSAT (experimental satellite, Indian Space Research Organisation)
Desired orbit Geostationary transfer orbit

India's first Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle failed to place the experimental GSAT spacecraft in the desired geostationary transfer orbit. It is not exactly known what caused the satellite to end up in a lower-than-expected orbit with an apogee of 32,051 km instead of the 35,975 km expected. In addition, the orbit is 19.2 degrees inclined instead of 19 degrees as planned.

The Hindu newspaper named two suspects that may have caused the problem: the third stage's Russian cryogenic engine, which has never flown before; and the rocket's navigation system, which had been used on India's PSLV before, but only for missions to polar orbit.

ISRO officials were confident that the data gathered on the first flight will help them fine-tune the cryogenic engine, which achieved a speed of 10.13 km per second instead of the needed 10.2 km per second.

  • In addition, GSAT itself malfunctioned.

Launch Failures Chronology