April 2, 2018 / 12:39 PM / 7 months ago

India trying to reconnect with most powerful communications satellite: ISRO

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India’s space agency said on Monday it was trying to re-establish a link with its most powerful communication satellite that went missing over the weekend, in a setback for its space ambitions.

FILE PHOTO: India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F08) carrying GSAT-6A communication satellite blasts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India, March 29, 2018. REUTERS/P. Ravikumar/File photo

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said the link with the satellite was lost in the third and final stage of its launch, but it did not specify the possible cause of the snag.

“Efforts are underway to establish the link with the satellite,” ISRO said on its website.

The satellite was launched on Thursday through an indigenously developed launch vehicle.

The GSAT-6A is an advanced mobile communications satellite with a six-meter wide antenna, the biggest used by an ISRO communication satellite.

Once located, the agency should be able to command and take the satellite to its final orbit.

If not, the satellite would come down and burn out like any other, an agency official said.

The satellite would enable advanced mobile communications, the space agency said, including for the military.

India is seeking a larger share of the more than $300 billion global space industry as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to project it as a global low-cost provider of services in space.

Reporting by Malini Menon; Editing by Robert Birsel

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