Updated February 17th, 2024 at 19:34 IST

Why ISRO’s GSLV F14 Satellite Carrier Nicknamed as ‘Naughty Boy’?

The spacecraft, which on Saturday carried out the launch process of the INSAT-3DS successfully, has got nicknamed ‘naughty boy’ for its spotty record.

Reported by: Abhishek Tiwari
GSLV F14 Spacecraft is also dubbed as naughty boy for its spotty record | Image:X/ ISRO

New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Saturday successfully launched India’s meteorological satellite INSAT-3DS aboard GSLV F14 spacecraft from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, enhancing its weather forecasts and disaster warnings with more accuracy. This is India’s 16th space mission for the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), which aims to deploy the INSAT-3DS satellite into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

The crucial mission, which has been funded entirely by the Ministry of Earth Sciences and aimed at deploying India’s latest weather satellite in orbit, was successfully attained by ISRO through GSLV F14 carrier, also being dubbed as the ‘Naughty Boy’ of India’s space agency.


Former ISRO chairman nicknamed the spacecraft ‘naught boy’

The spacecraft, which on Saturday carried out the entire launching process of the INSAT-3DS successfully, has been known to run into problems often during the launch processes. The spotty record earned the spacecraft the name, ‘naughty boy’.


Is being said that the GSLV F14 spacecraft was nicknamed the ‘naughty boy’ of the Indian space programme, by ISRO’s former chairman, as the GSLV has a history of hitting several bumps while delivering in the past.

According to the data, the space carrier, which has faced problems in 6 out of its 15 space missions till date, holds a failure rate of around 40 per cent. However, the GSLV F14 had managed to successfully complete the mission in May 2023, following a massive failure in its previous mission.


ISRO avoids number-13 for ‘naughty boy’

Ahead of the launch of the INSAT-3DS Satellite, the ISRO opted to skip again the use of the 13 number in the spacecraft’s name, as it is considered to be not so lucky. The weather satellite carrier was named 'GSLV-F14', instead of 'GSLV-F13'. This numbering pattern mirrors ISRO's previous practice with its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Not only ISRO, the number is being considered ‘unlucky’ by other space agencies across the world as well.


NASA, the American space agency, has refrained from using number '13' in naming its mission designations since the Apollo-13 mission failure.

ISRO Chairman congratulates team

The ISRO shared the information after the successful launch of the satellite on X, saying, “The vehicle has successfully placed the satellite into the intended geosynchronous transfer orbit.”

Following the successful launch, ISRO Chairman S Somanath said, “I am very happy to announce the successful accomplishment of the mission GSLV-F14 INSAT-3DS. The spacecraft has been injected into a very good orbit. We also noted that the vehicle has performed very well. Congratulations to everyone who has been a part of the team.”


Significance of mission

The launch of INSAT-3DS holds a lot of significance for India's space agency as it is equipped to provide extremely accurate weather forecast information by studying the surface of the ocean, also being helpful in disaster prevention.


The INSAT-3DS satellite is a follow-on mission of a third generation meteorological satellite to be placed in geostationary orbit, and it is fully funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).

The GSLV is a three-stage rocket that is 51.7 metres long and has a liftoff mass of 420 tonnes. ISRO plans to retire it after a few more launches.


The satellite weighs 2,274 kg and once operational, it would serve departments under the ministry of Earth Sciences, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting, and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services. It is important for the nation as it will help boost India’s weather and climate monitoring services.


Published February 17th, 2024 at 19:34 IST