India’s powerful GSAT-6A satellite has been lost shortly after its launch on March 29th. The satellite seemed to launch well and achieved its first orbit-raising manoeuvre. The LAM (liquid apogee motor) engine worked perfectly fine, and the first orbit raising manoeuvre was a success, and the satellite reached the right spot as intended, a source told The Times of India.
A follow-on orbit-raising move was planned for Saturday with a second engine firing for 53 minutes as planned and ground-technicians received data for about 4 minutes following the engine firing, but then the data-stream ended.
India Space Research Organization (ISRO) engineers say that the third – and final – planned engine firing on April 1st did not happen, although efforts are underway to attempt to recommunicate with the satellite.
The loss – if confirmed – is considerable, and means an interruption to the nation’s plans for broadcasting and communicating with hand-held devices and tablets.