It is a coincidence for ``Beyond Moon and Mars.(BMM).''
On Wednesday afternoon BMM was at the Barc--India's top nuclear weapon lab--interacting with a scientist who had played a key role during ``Operation Shakti,''--India's highly successful nuclear weapons tests which were conducted at Pokhran on May 11 and 13,1998
Though BMM cannot delve into the specifics about the unsked meeting for obvious reasons, all it can say was that the scientist spoke in general terms about our nuclear capable missiles especially ``Agni,'' and ``Prithvi.'' He sounded extremely happy that day. But today, he was a sad man---the reason--the hi tech Agni-2 Prime had failed.
Told that failures were inevitable in rocket flights and examples were aplenty the scientist replied: ``Remember this is the third failure of Agni. It should not happen repeatedly. God forbid what would have happened if this mission was for retaliation?''
BMM asked him to take it easy. It has reproduced an advanced report from ``The Hindu,'' about the failure of the flight.
According to ``The Hindu,''the experimental launch of a new intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) Agni II Prime, has failed on Friday after the missile deviated from the trajectory and nosedived into the sea.
The new missile with a range of more than 3,000 kms deviated soon after its lift-off at 10.05 am from the Wheeler Island at the Integrated Test Range, Balasore, off the Orissa coast.
Agni II Prime is a new and upgraded version of Agni II which has a range of 2,000 kms. This is basically aimed at filling the gap between Agni II and Agni III with the latter having a range of more then 3,500 kms. New technologies introduced into the missile to make it lighter were providing it greater thrust.
DRDO sources said a detailed analysis was in progress to find out the exact cause for the failure and it might take at least two to three days to make a preliminary assessment. They said new technologies like composite rocket motor, indigeneous ring-laser gyro navigation system and road mobile launcher were being tested in the mission. Many of them have been proven in the test flight, they said.
(BMM requests viewers to ignore the earlier report about the failure)