After Chandrayaan-2 Scare, A Look at Previous Failed ISRO Launches

India’s second moon mission, Chandrayaan-2’s launch was called off on Monday, 15 July, due to a technical snag in the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Mk-III.

The space agency, after calling off the launch, said that it will announce the revised launch date soon. ISRO Chief K Sivan, according to an NDTV report, had hinted at a launch date of Tuesday, 16 July. However, according to experts, launch windows have to meet several technical criteria and hence, it can take weeks or even months for a new date.

Before we look into the previous failed launches from ISRO, it is important to note that Chandrayaan-2 is not a failed launch. The launch was delayed in order to avoid failure, and is nothing more than a change in ISRO’s plan.

Following are the previous failed launches from our space agency:

Rohini Technology Payload (RTP): 10 August 1979

The Rohini spin stabilised satellite.

The Rohini Technology payload, in 1979, was an experimental mission, to launch a spin stabilised satellite designed with a power handling capability of 3W.

The mission was using ISRO’s SLV-3 launch vehicle and this was the first flight from the SHAR Centre, today’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The satellite on the RTP had on board instruments to monitor the flight performance of SLV-3, the first Indian launch vehicle.

SROSS-1: 24 March 1987


The SROSS, on-board the ASLV-D1, was the first developmental flight of India’s Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle or Advanced Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV), the ASLV-D1.

The mission, weighing a total 150 kg, had a Launch Vehicle Monitoring Platform (LVMP), Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) payload and a Corner Cube Retro Reflector (CCRR) for laser tracking as its payload.

It was also launched from the SHAR Centre, which was renamed Satish Dhawan Space Centre in 2002.

SROSS-2: 13 July 1988


The SROSS-2, an experimental mission, was launched on-board the ASLV-D2 in July 1988. The 150 kg mission, launched on 13 July 1988, failed to reach the orbit.

It was carrying three payloads, Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) payload, and a German payload, Mono Payload Ocular Electro-Optic Stereo Scanner (MEOSS).

It was also launched from the erstwhile SHAR centre in Sriharikota.

Also Read: Chandrayaan-2 Launch Called Off, Next Date to Be Announced Later

IRS-1E: 20 September 1993

IRS-1E satellite, an Operational Remote Sensing satellite, was derived from the engineering model of IRS-1A incorporating a Monocular Electro-Optical Stereo Scanner developed by DLR, Germany, and a LISS-I camera similar to that on IRS-1A, could not be placed into orbit by the PSLV-D1 launched on 20 September 1993.

The mission was not realised due to problems faced by Launch Vehicle. It was the first development flight of PSLV, to be launched from SHAR centre in Sriharikota.



INSAT-4C, a communication satellite, was lost in a launch failure in 2006. The mission, to be carried on the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F02), was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharihota on 10 July 2006.

The GSLV-F02 could not complete the 2,168 kg mission.



India's nineteenth geo-stationary satellite and the fourth one in the GSAT series of communication satellites, was to be launched on 15 April 2010.

An experimental mission, it was meant to test the following technologies:

  • Electric Propulsion System
  • Bus Management Unit
  • 1553 Bus for Data Communication
  • Miniaturised Dynamically Tuned Gyros
  • 36 AH Lithium Ion Battery
  • 70 V Bus for Ka band TWTAs

However, the GSLV0D3 launch vehicle was not able to place the GSAT-4 into the orbit.

GSAT-5P: 25 December 2010


The GSAT-5P was the fifth satellite in the GSAT series of communication satellites by ISRO.

Weighing 2310 kg, GSAT-5P carried 24 Normal C-band and 12 Extended C-band transponders onboard ISRO’s GSLV-F06.

However, the GSLV rocket could not complete the mission as it failed to place the satellite into orbit.

Also Read: Chandrayaan-2 Launch Snag: Twitterati Disappointed Yet Supportive

IRNSS-1H: 31 August 2017


The IRNSS-1H was a navigation satellite, launched on the PSLV-C39 rocket into a sub Grosunchronous Transfer Orbit (sub-GTO).

However, the mission was, again, not able to be placed into the orbit.

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