India’s ‘priceless gift’ to South Asian countries

Seven of the eight Saarc countries are part of South Asia satellite. Pakistan has opted out

GN Bureau | May 5, 2017


#Narendra Modi   #communications satellite   #GSLV-F09   #GSAT-9   #South Asia satellite   #ISRO   #Saarc satellite   #ISRO launch  
The fully integrated GSLV-F06 carrying GSAT-9 at the second launch pad (Courtesy: ISRO)
The fully integrated GSLV-F06 carrying GSAT-9 at the second launch pad (Courtesy: ISRO)

In a bid to boost its “neighbourhood first policy”, India will launch GSAT-9 or the South Asia satellite on May 5. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch the satellite, costing Rs 235 crore, from Sriharikota, off the coast of Andhra Pradesh. The satellite will be placed into orbit by the space agency’s rocket GSLV-F09. Its mission life span is 12 years. 

 
Know more about the South Asia satellite
  • The geostationary communication satellite is India’s “valuable gift” to the Saarc nations and its data will be shared with other Saarc countries.
  • The satellite was initially named as Saarc satellite, but was later re-christened as South Asia satellite as Pakistan opted out of it stating “it has its own space programme.”
  • As a result seven of the eight Saarc countries – India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldives, are a part of the project. 
  • The satellite will provide communication, disaster support and connectivity among the South Asian countries. It will help in the areas of mapping the natural resources, tele-medicine, education and IT connectivity. 
  • The 2,230 kg satellite will provide communication links in times of disasters as the South Asian region is prone to earthquakes, cyclones, floods and tsunamis.
  • All participating nations will have access to at least one transponder using which they can telecast their own programming. 
  • Participating countries will have to develop their own ground-level infrastructure. India is willing to extend assistance and know-how. 
  • In his monthly radio address, ‘Mann ki Baat’, PM Modi said the satellite, will go a long way in addressing the region's economic and developmental priorities.
  • The launch was scheduled for December 2016, but was delayed.
 

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