The South Asia Satellite launched successfully this evening by the Indian Space Research organization, ISRO. The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV F-09 carrying the communication and broadcasting satellite lifted off from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikotta at 4.57 pm.
The 28-hour countdown for the launch that started at 12.57 at noon yesterday is progressing smoothly at the spaceport. Six of India’s neighbours including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Srilanka and the Maldives were participating in the space-based regional communication project. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent radio address to the nation “Mann Ki Baat” has said, the South Asia Satellite is India’s gift to the region that will go a long way in addressing the economic and development priorities of the nations in the region.
The satellite weighing 2230 kilogram during lift off and carrying 12 Ku-Band transponders has been developed at a cost of about 235-crore rupees and 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.
South Asia Satellite, also known as the GSAT-9, is a geosynchronous satellite that can be used for telecommunication, broadcasting, telemedicine, disaster management and a host of other development purposes. It involves space diplomacy for regional cooperation and serves as an example for application of space technology for collective development goals.
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.
China has been operating its relation through space diplomacy since 2007. He has created and launched Satellite for many countries including Venezuela, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. However, trying to send a common satellite to many countries was not done on their behalf. By doing so, Modi has tried to reduce the impact of China.
China’s official newspaper Global Times has praised Modi’s space diplomacy. At the same time, he also said that China should not be left out in the plan to strengthen space relations with neighboring countries of India.
During the visit of former President APJ Abdul Kalam to China in 2012, he talked about India-China Joint Space Program.
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