India launches South Asia Communication satellite

RSTV Bureau
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)'s PSLV C35 carrying SCATSAT-1 and seven other satellites, lifts off from Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota  Photo-PTI

File photo of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s PSLV C35 carrying SCATSAT-1 and seven other satellites, lifting off from Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota
Photo-PTI

India successfully launched the South Asia Communication Satellite on Friday from Sriharikota. The satellite, which will provide communication and disaster support to South Asian nations, has been completely funded by India.The satellite has also been touted as an “invaluable gift” to India’s neighbours in South Asia.

This latest communication satellite GSAT-9 called SAS has been built by the Indian Space Research Organisation. The satellite rode piggyback on the GSLV-F09 with the indigenous cryogenic powering the Upper Stage.

The GSLV-F09 blasted off at 4:57 pm in clear weather from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh and injected the GSAT-9 into the orbit in a flawless flight.

“Successful launch of South Asian Satellite is a historic moment. It opens up new horizons of engagement. This will also greatly benefit South Asia & our region’s progress,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing the success of the launch.

The GSLV-F09 mission is the 11th flight of the GSLV. With a lift-off mass of 2230 kg, GSAT-9 is a Geostationary Communication Satellite providing various communication applications in Ku-band with coverage over South-Asian countries.

The satellite will enable a full range of services to neighbouring nations, including telecommunication, television, direct-to-home, VSATs, tele-education and telemedicine.

It can also provide secure hotlines among the participating nations, which will be useful for management of disasters like earthquakes, cyclones, floods and tsunamis.

The satellite which cost India around Rs 235 crore, has been touted as a ‘invaluable gift’ to India’s South Asian neighbours. Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldives are part of the project. Pakistan opted out of the project, saying it has its own space programme.

(With inputs from PTI)