Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of the South Asia Satellite which is scheduled to take place this Friday, on May 5. During his radio address, Mann Ki Baat , Modi says that the satellite is India s priceless gift to South Asian countries forming SAARC except for Pakistan which is not taking part in this project. Modi further said that the satellite will go a long way in addressing South Asia s economic and developmental priorities . The South Asia Satellite, GSAT-9 will be launched using Indian Space Research Organization s (ISRO) heavy rocket GSLV-F09. Also Read - Starlink satellite broadband service faces challenge in India, Elon Musk led company questionedAlso Read - Today's Google doodle is all about India's 'satellite man': Here's all you need to know
The GSAT-9, as ISRO explains, is a Geostationary Communication Satellite which will provide various communication applications in Ku-band covering South Asian countries. The satellite is built around ISRO s I-2K bus with lift off mass of 2230 kg. In terms of design and structure, the GSAT-9 satellite is cuboid in shape and is built around a central cylinder which is said to have a mission life of over 12 years. As aforementioned, the GSAT-9 will be launched with ISRO s GSLV-F09 and will take off from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. GSLV-F09 is the eleventh flight of GSLV and the fourth consecutive flight with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS).
Modi had announced this project soon after his role began as the Prime Minister of India in 2014. The satellite aimed to benefit all the seven countries namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, was supposed to be called SAARC Satellite . The name was changed to South Asia Satellite after Pakistan refused to join the project. According to a Times of India report, Pakistan in 2015 had proposed offering monetary and technical support which was declined stating the satellite is a gift from India to its SAARC neighbors . ALSO READ: ISRO to launch five satellites by 2017-end to boost communication capability
Elaborating on how the communication satellite will help, Modi said that it will benefit in mapping areas of natural resources, tele-medicine, education, IT connectivity and fostering people-to-people connectivity. The Hindu reports that the GSAT-09 satellite is equipped with a range of applications and services in the fields of telecommunication and broadcasting which includes Television, Direct-to-Home (DTH), Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), tele-education, telemedicine and disaster management support.