Two satellites that were onboard Indian Space Research Organisation’s newly-developed Small Satellite Launch Vehicle-D1 got placed in an unstable orbit and are no longer usable, the space agency said on Sunday.

“A committee would analyse [the cause of failure] and recommend,” the space agency said. “With the implementation of the recommendations, ISRO will come back soon with SSLV-D2.”

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle-D1 suffered data loss in the final phase after it lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 9.18 am on Sunday.

The new rocket was carrying an earth observation satellite and a co-passenger satellite made by students.

It performed as expected at all the stages. In the final phase, however, there was some data loss, ISRO Chairperson S Somanath said, PTI reported.

“The first stage performed and separated, second stage performed and separated, the third stage also performed and separated, and in the terminal phase of the mission, some data loss is occurring and we are analysing the data and we will comeback on the status of the satellites as well as the vehicle performance soon,” he added.

The Earth Observation Satellite-02, that the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle-D1 was carrying, had two solar panels generating 350 walt power. It was an experimental optical remote sensing satellite with a high spatial resolution.

The co-passenger satellite, AzaadiSAT, was built by 750 school girls from rural areas across the country to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence, NDTV reported. It weighed around eight kilograms, PTI reported.

AzaadiSAT also carried with it 75 different payloads each weighing around 50 grams. The student group called Space Kidz India has also developed the ground system that will be used to receive the data from this satellite.

On Sunday, Nair said that such rocket launches are pre-programmed and handled by the computer, NDTV reported.

“The first two stages go as per a predetermined trajectory, but in the final phase, to achieve a precise orbit, certain manoeuvres will have to be made,” he informed. “There, one has to determine the actual position, velocity of the rocket and steer the rocket to achieve the final desired object. So, any fault taking place in the sensors or in the computers could lead to such a situation.”

Nonetheless, he said, the achievement was remarkable.

“This is a small rocket launcher conceived and implemented within a short possible time,” Nair said. “The cost optimisation, the weight optimisation, and getting it into commercial market – all these aspects were considered within such a short time.”