The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has reportedly lost contact with its high power S-band communication satellite GSAT-6A, which was launched on Thursday last using Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F08). According to reports, ISRO is still making attempts to re-establish contact with the satellite.
The launch had taken place at 4:56 pm from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The communication satellite was placed into the orbit roughly around 17 minutes after the rocket lifts off.
This was GSLV's 12th flight and sixth flight with the indigenous Cryogenic upper stage.
GSLV-F08, weighing 415.6 tonnes with a height of 49.1 metre was with notable improvements like induction of High Thrust Vikas Engine, electromechanical actuation system in place of electro-hydraulic actuation system.
The mission life of the spacecraft planned was about 10 years. The satellite was expected to provide a platform for developing technologies such as demonstration of 6m S-Band Unfurlable Antenna, handheld ground terminals and network management techniques. These are useful in satellite-based mobile communication applications.
Apart from the communication needs, the satellite was also slated to provide services to the Indian Armed Forces.
Following the launch, The Times of India had quoted ISRO chairman as saying, “This GSLV is not like any other vehicle. The importance of this mission is that we have enhanced the performance of the vehicle with an improved high thrust Vikas engine that has increased thrust by 6% thereby enhancing payload capability by 50%.”
He had further said, “ISRO has high profile launches with 10 missions planned for the next nine months. They include space science, communication, navigation, high-resolution remote sensing and high bandwidth for communication. The highlight will be Chandrayaan-2.”