New Delhi: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced the `South Asia Satellite` (SAS) has been successfully launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on May 5.
The launch of the satellite, intended to serve the SAARC region, was announced by Modi during the SAARC summit at Nepal in November 2014.
In his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', PM Modi described the satellite's launch as India's 'pricelss gift' to its neighbours as part of the 'sabka sath, sabka vikas' concept, adding that it will go a long way in addressing the region`s economic and developmental priorities.
Here's all you need to know about the satellite, which took India three years to build:
- The South Asia Satellite, proposed by Prime Minister Modi, was launched into orbit at 4:57 pm on Friday,May 5, 2017, on board ISRO's rocket GSLV-09 from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota.
- GSAT-9 is a Geostationary Communication Satellite with the objective to provide various communication applications in Ku-band with coverage over South Asian countries.
- According to ISRO, GSLV-F09 mission is the eleventh flight of GSLV and its fourth consecutive flight with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS).
- The satellite weighs a massive 2,230-kg and it has 12 Ku-band transponders, which India's neighbours can utilise to increase communications.
- The total cost of launching the satellite is estimated to be about ₹2,350,000,000 (₹235 crore). The cost associated with the launch will be met by the Government of India
- The satellite is meant for providing communication and disaster support, connectivity among the countries of South Asia region. 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.
- Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are already on board of the mission. Afghanistan is in the process of inking the deal. That means seven out of eight SAARC countries are a part of the project except Pakistan, wehich opted out of the program.
- Initially, the satellite was to be named as 'SAARC Satellite' but its name was changed to South Asia Satellite after Pakistan refused to join the project.
- The main structure of the satellite is cuboid in shape built around a central cylinder with a mission life of 12 years.
So, mark the date to witness the launch of India's priceless gift to its neighbours this week.