Isro loses communication with GSAT-6A satellite

Isro loses communication with GSAT-6A satellite

In a major setback, Isro on Sunday said it has lost contact with homemade GSAT-6A satellite, which was expected to boost mobile communication across India, two days after its successful launch from Sriharikota.

The 415.6-ton homemade satellite, built at a cost of Rs. 270 crores, was working fine until Saturday morning, but the contact with it was lost immediately after the second orbit raising operation was successful.

"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. 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," Isro said in a statement on Sunday.

"Efforts are underway to establish the link with the satellite," the statement further said. The development is a serious setback for the Isro that was looking to compliment the GSAT-6 with GSAT-6A for boosting mobile communication in the country. GSAT-6A was crucial for the armed forces since the satellite was planned to cover remote areas that have been hitherto covered by any satellite," it further added.

Sources said the problem was with the power system of the satellite that was to have a lifespan of 10 years.

Another high point of the launch was the induction of high thrust Vikas engine and electromechanical actuation system since the Isro will be validating the aforesaid two which would be eventually used in the future missions, including India's second moon mission, Chandrayaan-II.

The satellite was designed to provide a platform for developing technologies such as demonstration of 6-metre S-Band Unfurlable Antenna for communication purposes, hand-held ground terminals and network management techniques that could be useful in satellite-based mobile communication applications, the space agency said.

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