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India Successfully Launches South Asia Communication Satellite; PM Modi Says Historic Moment
India on Friday successfully launched the South Asia Communication Satellite, fully funded by it and touted as an "invaluable gift" to its South Asian neighbours, that would provide communication and disaster support to the nations of the region
Photo Credit : PTI
India on Friday (May 05) successfully launched the South Asia Communication Satellite, fully funded by it and touted as an "invaluable gift" to its South Asian neighbours, that would provide communication and disaster support to the nations of the region.
Built by the Indian Space Research Organisation, its latest communication satellite GSAT-9 called SAS rode piggyback on the 50-m-tall rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09) with the indigenous cryogenic powering the Upper Stage.
The GSLV-F09 blasted off at 4:57 pm in clear weather from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh and injected the GSAT-9 into the orbit in a flawless flight.
"Successful launch of South Asian Satellite is a historic moment. It opens up new horizons of engagement. This will also greatly benefit South Asia & our region s progress," tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing the success of the launch.
The GSLV-F09 mission is the 11th flight of the GSLV.
With a lift off mass of 2230 kg, GSAT-9 is a Geostationary Communication Satellite providing various communication applications in Ku-band with coverage over South Asian countries.
The satellite will enable a full range of services to neighbours including the areas of telecommunication, television, direct-to-home, VSATs, tele-education and telemedicine.
It can also provide secure hotlines among the participating nations, which will be useful for management of disasters like earthquakes, cyclones, floods and tsunamis.
Configured around the ISRO's standard I-2K bus, the main structure of the satellite is cuboid in shape built around a central cylinder with a mission life of more than 12 years.
The satellite costing around Rs 235 crore is fully funded by India.
Touted as a 'invaluable gift' to its South Asian neighbours, seven of the eight SAARC countries- India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldives, are part of the project.
Pakistan has opted out of the project, saying it has its own space programme.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described the launch of the South Asian Satellite by India as a "historic moment" and said it opens up new horizons of engagement among the countries of the region.
Hailing the scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for ensuring the successful launch, he said the satellite will greatly benefit South Asia and the region's progress.
"Successful launch of South Asian Satellite is a historic moment. It opens up new horizons of engagement," Modi tweeted immediately after the GSLV-F09 carrying South Asia Communication Satellite lifted off from Sriharikota spaceport.
"I congratulate the team of scientists who worked hard for the successful launch of South Asia Satellite. We are very proud of them," he added.
Soon after taking over as the Prime Minister in 2014, Modi had made a unilateral proposal of India launching the satellite whose data would be shared with the eight SAARC countries for their development.
Initially, it was to be named as 'SAARC Satellite' but its name was changed to South Asia Satellite after Pakistan refused to join the project.
India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Afghanistan are now part of the project.
"We are a united family of South Asian countries, united in our pursuit of peace, progress & prosperity of our region & the entire humankind," the Prime Minister said.
In his 'Mann Ki Baat' radio programme on April 30, Modi had described the satellite as India's "pricelss gift" to its neighbours as part of the 'sabka sath, sabka vikas' concept.
The satellite will provide a significant capability to each of the participating countries in terms of DTH, certain VSAT capacity plus linking among the states for both disaster information transfer and also in terms of library type of things.