After pulling GSAT-11 back to India just prior to launch to make sure all was well, ISRO has now approved its launch.
Isro chairman K Sivan said, “All the tests on Gsat-11 at Bengaluru’s ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) are over. We have found no anomaly. We are in the process of discussion with Arianespace to fix the next launch date for our satellite.” Earlier, the Isro chief had told TOI that all tests would be completed by May 17.
Isro had postponed the launch of Gsat-11 initially planned on May 25 from the European spaceport as it did not want to take chances with its heaviest satellite especially after the signal failure episode with Gsat-6A. Communication satellite Gsat-6A, which was successfully launched from Sriharikota on March 29, went out of control during the third orbit-raising manoeuvre in space when the signal with the satellite got abruptly snapped because of suspected power failure. The space agency since then has been trying to restore the communication link with Gsat-6A though it knows its exact location through the satellite-tracking system.
Sivan is trained first as an engineer, so he took an engineer’s approach here, not a manager’s. Very wise. This bodes well for India’s space agency as long as he is in charge.
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