The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has confirmed that it has lost contact with the recently launched GSAT-6A satellite, which was launched onboard the GSLV F08 rocket. The loss of communication was reported by the agency just a day after executing the satellite’s second orbit raising manoeuvre.
“When the satellite was on course to normal operating configuration for the third and final firing, scheduled for April 1, 2018, communication from the satellite was lost. Efforts are underway to establish the link with the satellite,’’ ISRO announced. ISRO Chairman K Sivan reportedly said that the available data indicates that the satellite is still alive, and they will be able to establish contact, hence they are meticulously working towards it.
ISRO had earlier not reported on the status of the second orbit raising manoeuvre on the GSAT-6A, which was to be carried out on March 31 after the launch, and first orbit raising manoeuvre on March 29 and March 30. ISRO hasn’t explained where they was a delay in providing the update. “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,’’ ISRO said.
“We cannot say what exactly has gone wrong with the communication link to the satellite. It could be one of multiple reasons. Our engineers are working overtime to establish contact with the spacecraft,’’ Indian Express reports ISRO as saying. The GSAT-6A satellite was launched aboard the GSLV F08 on March 29 , which is an upgraded version of ISRO’s heavy-lift GSLV Mk II rocket. The launch took place from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. On the day, the first reports revealed that the launch went off well and the communication satellite was successfully inserted into transit orbit. It was only after the second orbit raising manoeuvre that the connection was lost.