India loses contact with GSAT-6A satellite over 48 hours after launch

ISRO GSLV F80 GSAT-6A satellite

Bengaluru, April 1: In a setback for its space programme, India on Sunday said it lost contact with its communication satellite GSAT-6A, which was launched on board the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) on March 29.

Around 48 hours after it was launched on Thursday, ISRO on its official website said that the agency lost contact with the satellite during the third and final firing of its LAM engine.

“After the successful long-duration firings, the communication from the satellite was lost when it (satellite) was on course for the final firing (to place the satellite in its final geostationary orbit), scheduled for April 1 (Sunday),” the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement.

The satellite was to be placed in its intended orbit after manoeuvres from the space agency’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka, about 180 km from Bengaluru.

“Efforts are underway to establish the link with the satellite,” said the statement.

After a copybook launch, the GSLV-MkII had deployed the satellite in a geosynchronous transfer orbit on March 29 after which it had to be placed in its final geostationary orbit through three orbit raising manoeuvres.

Only after the communication link is re-established with the satellite can it be placed in its intended orbit.


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