New Delhi: After a 28-hour long countdown, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched India's 'priceless gift' – the South Asia Satellite – from the the second launch pad at the the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota - thereby adding another feather in its cap.
Precisely at 4.57 p.m., the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09) lifted off from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre at the spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 5, 2017
The project, proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that aims to benefit all the countries from the region, features seven out of eight SAARC nations.
Few minutes into the flight, PM Modi congratulated the Indian space agency on successful launch of the satellite.
I congratulate the team of scientists who worked hard for the successful launch of South Asia Satellite. We are very proud of them. @isro
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 5, 2017
Launching aboard the Indian space agency’s rocket GSLV-F09, the South Asia Satellite or GSAT-9 costs around Rs 235 crore and is meant for providing communication and disaster support and connectivity among the countries of South Asia region. Its mission life will span 12 years.
Formerly named 'SAARC Satellite', the satellite's name was later changed to 'South Asia Satellite', after Pakistan was dropped from the list of nations taking part in the project. Pakistan had decided to opt out, stating “it has its own space programme.”