Losing GSAT 6A contact left Chandrayaan-2 in a lurch

GSAT 6A was launched in March last year and was meant to support military communications in hostile regions (PTI File Photo)

Indian space agency ISRO, which lost contact with Chandrayaan-2's lander Vikram early Saturday morning, had deferred the lunar mission's launch last year after a loss in communication with military satellite GSAT 6A.

GSAT 6A was launched in March last year and was meant to support military communications in hostile regions using handy ground terminals.

However, days later the ISRO said it had lost contact with GSAT 6A.

Communication from the satellite was lost after the second firing of the on-board engine and "efforts are under way to establish the link with the satellite", it had then said.

The launch of Chandrayaan-2 was scheduled in October last year.

Officials had then said they did not want to take any risk and ensure that the multi-million dollar Chandrayaan project is full-proof.

The GSAT 6A setback had prompted ISRO to recall the launch of GSAT-11 from Kourou in French Guiana for additional technical checks.

The setback the ISRO faced was one of the reasons behind the space agency deferring the launch of Chandrayaan to early this year, which was again pushed to July.

 To ensure that Chandrayaan-2 does not face any glitch, the ISRO had formed a group of experts.

 In August 2017, the PSLV- C39 mission, carrying the IRNSS-1H navigation satellite, failed after the heat shield did not open and release the satellite.

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