However, minutes after the vehicle lost control, ISRO said that the next flight of the indigenous cryogenic engine would take place within an year, after a detailed analysis of the flight data.
For ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan, the Vishu Day (the Malayalam New Year) would not have got him the desired luck as this was his first major mission after taking over the mantle from Madhavan Nair. The chairman's disappointment was writ all over his face, while addressing the media soon, post launch.
"The mission objectives are not met fully. There are indications that the cryogenic engine ignited but the vehicle was tumbling and controllability lost. We saw the vehicle tumbling uncontrollably and it developed deviation. Two vernier engines would not have ignited. We will carry out a detailed analysis of the data," Radhakrishnan told a crowded press conference.
ISRO that the GSLV-D3 vehicle lifted off as planned at 16:27 hrs after a countdown procedure lasting for 29 hours. "The countdown went off as planned. GSLV-D3 vehicle performance was normal up to the end of the second stage (GS2) till 293 seconds. Afterwards, the cryogenic stage was to ignite and burn for about 720 seconds to provide the necessary velocity to inject GSAT-4 satellite into the intended geosynchronous transfer orbit. It is yet to be ascertained whether the cryogenic engine did ignite. The vehicle was seen tumbling, lost altitude and finally splashed down in the sea," ISRO Chairman said.
The Bangalore-headquartered space agency has always shown a rare grit and determination during failures, and has always bounced back to achieve the mission objectives with renewed vigor. This is one habit that's yet to become 'popular' among some of India's leading Defence establishments.