Science & Technology

ISRO Confirms: Contact Lost With Newly Launched Communication Satellite GSAT-6A

| April 1 , 2018 , 13:56 IST

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday confirmed that it has lost contact with India's most powerful communication satellite the GSAT-6A, which had been successfully launched into orbit on Thursday.

According to ISRO, it lost contact with the GSAT-6A less than 48 hours after its launch despite it being on course for normal operating configuration, and efforts are underway to establish link with the satellite.

Following a textbook launch onboard the GSLV-FO8 on Thursday, ISRO completed the first orbit raising operation of GSAT-6A satellite successfully on Friday, and reportedly also successfully completed the second orbit raising manoeuvre on Saturday. However, at the time of the third and final firing, communication from the satellite was lost.

“The second orbit raising operation of GSAT-6A satellite has been successfully carried out by LAM Engine firing for about 53 minutes on March 31, 2018 in the morning. After the successful long duration firings, when the satellite was on course to normal operating configuration for the third and the final firing, scheduled for April 1, 2018, communication from the satellite was lost. Efforts are underway to establish the link with the satellite,” said ISRO in its statement.

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The GSAT-6A satellite is a high power communication satellite designed to have a mission life of around 10 years and to provide mobile communication for India with a multi-band coverage facility.

The satellite is equipped with a 6-metre wide antenna, the biggest used by any ISRO communication satellite so far, which would provide mobile communication to the country through handheld ground terminals, which was not possible with earlier satellites. The GSAT-6A was to provide communication facilities for the armed forces.