Space

ISRO loses contact with its GSAT-6A communication satellite

On March 29, Thursday, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched its GSAT-6A communication satellite aboard a GSLV Mk II rocket. But unfortunately, as per the latest reports, the Indian space agency has lost contact with the GSAT-6A satellite. The GSAT-6A got out of the radar of ISRO more than sixty hours after the successful liftoff.

ISRO said that they lost contact with the Rs. 270-crore satellite before just before it was going to be put in the orbit. Currently, the ISRO officials are trying their heart out in order to re-establish contact with GSAT-6A. SRO chief K Sivan said, “There has been an unfortunate power system anomaly…the satellite should have gone into safe mode but that did not happen. All contact was lost.” This morning, ISRO said that the communication from the GSAT-6A satellite was lost while they were preparing for the final push to place the satellite in orbit.

An 11-member inquiry committee, headed by satellite expert PS Goel, has been set up by ISRO to find out the exact reason behind this failure of contact with the satellite. ISRO has made it clear that this lost connection with the satellite will not affect its future launches and everything will take place as scheduled. After getting successfully launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, the GSAT-6A satellite was supposed to be deployed in orbit in three phases.

Actually, when a satellite is launched, it is kept nearer to Earth before the final push, to enable it to attain its final orbit. For GSAT-6A, the orbit-raising was supposed to occur in three stages to take it to its final orbit. On Friday, the first orbit raising was carried out and it was successful. Then, on Saturday, the second-orbit raising was done and it also became successful. But, on Sunday, while ISRO was preparing for the third and final orbit-raising to put the satellite in its final orbit, the space organization lost contact with the satellite.

On Monday, ISRO said in a statement that after the successful long-duration firings, when the satellite was on course to the normal operating configuration for the third and the final firing, scheduled for April 1, 2018, communication from the satellite was lost. The ISRO sources say that they do not know what exactly went wrong with the satellite that led to the loss of contact with the satellite. The engineers are trying hard to re-establish communication and it cannot be said that the satellite is lost yet, as informed by the ISRO sources.

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