Launch of SARAL satellite suspended by ISRO

The launch of SARAL, a satellite built to study the sea surface heights and ocean currents, has been moved by the Indian Space Research Organization from December to February 2013 because of some defects.

During the thermo-vacuum testing of the SARAL satellite at the Bangalore ISRO Satellite Centre, a number of problems arose, which then led to the delay of its launch.

“We had technical problems in the satellite. Some problems were encountered during the thermo-vacuum testing… They have been solved,” a top ISRO official said in a statement.

Meanwhile, another ISRO engineer said, “The satellite has new payloads and new systems. When new payloads are used, technical issues will be there. We are resolving them.”

SATAL is said to have two payloads from French space agency CNES — Argos-3 used to collect data and Altikameter used to measure the height of the sea surface — both of which have been integrated into a satellite bus from India.

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