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. Also Read - Jeff Bezos travels to space today: How to watch Blue Origin rocket launch online
“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. Also Read - Elon Musk now wants to travel to space but not on SpaceX rocket
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. Also Read - FIR filed against Twitter India again, now over child pornography content
“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.