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Set your timers! ISRO to launch India's 'priceless gift' South Asia Satellite today

On Thursday, ISRO began the 28-hour countdown for the launch of the satellite into orbit.


Set your timers! ISRO to launch India's 'priceless gift' South Asia Satellite today

New Delhi: Today's the day! At 4:57 pm (IST), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch what Prime Minister Narendra Modi labeled 'India's priceless gift' – the South Asia Satellite.

The satellite, which features seven out of eight SAARC countries, aims to benefit all the countries in the region.

On Thursday, ISRO began the 28-hour countdown for the launch of the satellite into orbit.

The South Asia Satellite or GSAT-9 is all set to ride piggyback on the Indian space agency’s rocket GSLV-F09 with indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage.

Set to take off from the second launch pad at the the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, the entire project 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.”

As for future launches, ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar said that the space agency would launch the GSLV MK III variant which would be followed by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in the coming months. Further, ISRO would launch Chandrayaan-II in the beginning of next year, he added.

The previous launch of communication satellite GSAT-8 was on 21 May 2011 from Kourou, French Guiana.

From Zee News

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