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'Made in India' South-Asia satellite to launch on 5th May

04 May, 2017, 00:40 | Author: Abraham Jackson
  • Strap on motos being integrated with the launch vehicle. Image Isro

It's called South Asia Satellite (SAS) and will be launched on May 5 in Sriharikota on the coast of the Bay of Bengal.

"The benefits of this satellite will go a long way in meeting the developmental needs of the countries participating in this project", the Prime Minister said.

Pakistan, whose proposal to invest in the project was rejected by India, backed out citing security reasons.

Modi deemed the satellite as a "priceless gift" from India, highlighting it as a significant step towards promoting cooperation with entire South Asia. "And that's why I have proposed in front of you today that we offer a valuable gift to our SAARC countries through a SAARC Satellite launch so that we also become partners in their welfare".

PM Modi's gift to SAARC countries, the communication satellite GSAT-9 will be launched on May 5 using ISRO's heavy rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09).

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The satellite was announced by Prime Minister Modi in 2014 SAARC summit, which was held in Nepal.

The satellite is created to enable full range applications touching on areas of telecommunications and broadcasting applications such as television. The satellite is being launched with the objective to provide different communication applications in Ku-band over South Asian countries. The cost the satellite is approximately Rs. 235 crores, which, after including operational costs, insurance and overheads totals Rs. 450 crore.

However, each country has to develop its own ground infrastructure technology. These countries, besides India, are Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Afghanistan. According to India, these will find use in areas such as just satellite television, very small aperture terminals (VSATs), tele-education, telemedicine and disaster management.

As per sources in the Indian space agency, the countdown for the launch of South Asia Satellite will begin on Thursday morning. Experts say "Pakistan has missed an opportunity" since its own space program is now in a primitive stage as compared to India's.

The launch of the satellite will mark a new chapter in India's space diplomacy given that its technological advancement in the region is second to none.

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