ISRO launches South Asian Satellite, Modi's gift to India's neighbours

South Asia satellite GSAT-9 was to be called 'SAARC satellite' but its name was changed when Pak refused to join the project.

Sriharikota: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday launched the South Asian Satellite (GSAT-9) into space.

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) F-09 carrying the communication and broadcasting satellite took off from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota at 4.57 p.m.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent radio address to the nation 'Mann Ki Baat' had said the South Asia Satellite is India's gift to the region, which will go a long way in addressing the economic and development priorities of the nations in the region.

Six of India's neighbours including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Srilanka and the Maldives participated in the space-based regional communication project.

Pakistan had refused to join the project, after which the satellite's name was changed from 'SAARC Satellite' to 'South Asian Satellite'.

The satellite weighing 2230 kilograms during lift off and carrying 12 Ku-Band transponders has been developed at a cost of about 235-crore rupees. The total cost of the project including the launch is worked out to be about 450-crore rupees.

The intended operational life of the satellite is more than 12 years and it cost Rs 235 crore.

The GSAT-9 is a Geostationary Communication Satellite and data from it will be shared with the other five countries.

It will help to meet the growing telecommunications and broadcasting needs of the region.

All participating nations will have access to at least one transponder using which they can telecast their own programming.

The satellite is expected to provide communication channels between countries for better disaster management as the region is prone to natural disasters.

The national space agency ISRO used the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage in this flight of the GSLV for the fourth time. In total, it was the 11th flight of the GSLV.

In short, as envisaged by Prime Minister Modi, it is a satellite sans frontiers, for the nations to grow together.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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