BREAKING: India lost contact with the satellite days after it was launched with much fanfare
NEW DELHI: India´s national space agency has lost contact with a satellite days after it was launched into orbit with much fanfare, authorities said Sunday.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost communication with the GSAT-6A satellite as it prepared to undertake its third and final orbiting manoeuvre on Saturday.
"Efforts are underway to establish the link with the satellite," ISRO said in a statement.
The satellite -- an indigenous model weighing more than 2,000 tonnes -- was designed to improve communications for the armed forces.
It was launched from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.
The space programme is a source of much pride in India and an achievement that highlights its emergence as a rising power and major world economy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the launch Thursday, saying he was "proud of isro for taking the nation towards new heights and a brighter future".
The launch was seen as another feather in the cap for ISRO scientists, who won Asia´s race to Mars in 2014 when an Indian spacecraft reached the Red Planet on a shoestring budget.
That feat burnished India´s reputation as a reliable low-cost option for space exploration, with its $73 million price tag drastically undercutting NASA´s Maven Mars $671-million mission.