Efforts Continue To Establish Contact With GSAT-6A Satellite, Says ISRO

GSAT-6A lost contact with the ground station two days after it was launched on March 29 in a flawless mission from the space port of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh but the agency has not specified the glitch.

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Efforts Continue To Establish Contact With GSAT-6A Satellite, Says ISRO

ISRO's communications satellite GSAT-6A suffered a serious setback in space (AFP)


Bengaluru:  Space scientists continue efforts to establish contact with the country's snag-hit latest communication satellite GSAT-6A that went off the radar, the Indian space agency said today.

GSAT-6A lost contact with the ground station two days after it was launched on March 29 in a flawless mission from the space port of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh but the agency has not specified the glitch.

The country's most powerful satellite went blank when ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka attempted to ignite the engine in a third and final move to put GSAT-6A in its space home.

"Efforts are being continued to establish the communication with the satellite," ISRO sources said today.

ISRO chairman K Sivan has said preliminary data shows that there are chances of recovery, but establishing link with the satellite was the key.

"The Mission Control is on the job continuously," he had said.

The 2,140-kg GSAT-6A rode piggyback on ISRO's powerful geosynchronous rocket (GSLV-F08) fitted with indigenous cryogenic engine at the third stage and was put into orbit successfully after the launch in what was described by a senior ISRO official as a "magnificent mission".

GSAT-6A is aimed at helping in mobile communication even from very remote locations through hand-held ground terminals and is considered a shot in the arm for the armed forces.

Reports suggest that the glitch is related to the satellite's power system after the second orbit-raising exercise on Saturday, after which ISRO scientists went into a huddle and are working towards setting things right.

The orbit raising operation is carried out to hurl the satellite to its designated slot.

GSAT-6A, with a mission life of about 10 years, is designed to provide thrust to mobile communication through multi-beam coverage facility.

The satellite is also aimed at providing a platform for developing technologies such as demonstration of 6 m S-Band Unfurlable Antenna, hand-held ground terminals and network management techniques that could be useful in satellite-based mobile communication applications.

GSAT-6A snag is the second setback to ISRO in less than a year.

In August last year, India's mission to launch its backup navigation satellite IRNSS-1H on board PSLV-C39 failed after a technical fault on the final leg following a perfect launch.


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