ISRO Loses Contact With Satellite GSAT-6A After Its Launch


Chennai: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday confirmed that it has lost communication with the strategic communication satellite, GSAT-6A, launched successfully from Sriharikota on Thursday.

The Indian space agency said that it was making efforts to re-establish the link with the satellite.

“After successful long-duration firings, when the satellite was on course to a normal operating configuration for third and final firing, scheduled for April 1, 2018, communication from the satellite was lost. Efforts underway to establish the link with satellite,” ISRO said in a statement issued on Sunday.

The 2,066-ton home-made satellite, GSAT-6A was built at a cost of Rs 270 crore and is capable of sending and receiving signals from hand-held devices.

The speculations of something wrong with GSAT 6A started after the ISRO did not release scheduled updates about the satellite on Saturday. According to reports, the last update came at 9:22 am on March 30, when the first orbit-raising was carried out. The second orbit-raising also went normally, reports said, adding that the setback was faced in the third orbit-raising.

Orbit-raising refers to the manoeuvres in space by which a satellite is taken to its final orbit one step at a time or in stages with the help of small thrusters. When a satellite is launched, it is kept closer to the Earth before it is raised to its final orbit. The main purpose of the satellite is to serve communication links between defence forces.