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India successfully launches South Asia satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation launched the GSAT-9, popularly termed as South Asia Satellite, on Friday.

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)-F09 carrying GSAT-9 lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Shriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, at 4.57 pm on Friday.

GSLV-F09 mission is the eleventh flight of GSLV and its fourth consecutive flight with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage, the ISRO had said earlier.

‘GSAT-9 is a Geostationary Communication Satellite with the objective to provide various communication applications in Ku-band with coverage over South Asian countries. GSAT-9 is configured around the ISRO’s standard I-2K bus, with lift off mass of 2,230 kg. 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 ISRO had said in a release.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the launch as a ‘historic moment’ and said it opens up new horizons of engagement among the countries of the region.

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 South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation 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.

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.

Hailing the scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation 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.

In his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme on April 30, Modi had described the satellite as India’s ‘priceless 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.

With inputs from ANI

Source: Rediff