South Asia Satellite successfully launched
In the regional communication satellite project, all the countries in the SAARC region barring Pakistan are participating.
Indian Space Research organisation (ISRO) on 5 May 2017 successfully launched the South Asia Satellite. The communication and broadcasting satellite was launched with Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV F-09 from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota at 4.57 pm.
The South Asia Satellite was launched after a 28-hour long countdown that started on 5 May 2017 at 12.57pm.
Participating nations: Six of India’s neighbours including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Srilanka and the Maldives were the participants of the space-based regional communication project.
Pakistan is not a part of this regional communication satellite project because it denied from being a part of the project.
Earlier, the project was named as SAARC satellite project but was later changed into the South Asia Satellite after Pakistan pulled off itself from the project.
About the satellite
• South Asia Satellite, also known as the GSAT-9, is a geosynchronous satellite and will be used for broadcasting, telecommunication, disaster management, telemedicine and a host of other development purposes.
• It involves space diplomacy for regional cooperation and serves as an example for the application of space technology for collective development goals.
• The satellite weighing 2230 kilogramme during lifted off and carrying 12 Ku-Band transponders was 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.
The national space agency ISRO uses the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage in this flight of the GSLV for the fourth time. In total, it would be the 11th flight of the GSLV.
In short, as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is a satellite sans frontiers, for the nations to grow together. The plan was announced by him in 2014 during the SAARC summit at Kathmandu, Nepal. During the summit, he announced that India will be gifting a satellite to its neighbours.
Besides, in his recent radio address to the nation, “Mann ki Baat”, Prime Minister Modi said that this South Asia Satellite is India’s gift to the region and this will go a long way in addressing the economic and development priorities of the nations in the region.
The launch of such a South Asian Satellite was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2014 SAARC summit that was held in Kathmandu, Nepal. In his statement, he announced that the satellite will be India’s gift to its neighbours.