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GSAT-9 launch: PM Modi Calls it a success

The Rs 235-crore ISRO satellite, funded entirely by India, will improve disaster and telecommunication links between six south Asian countries.

GSAT-9 launch: PM Modi Calls it a success
At 4.57 pm on Thursday, ISRO's GSLV-F09, carrying the South Asia Satellite (GSAT-9), was launched from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

The Rs 235-crore satellite, funded entirely by India, will improve disaster and telecommunication links between six south Asian countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the ISRO scientists after the successful launch.


"I congratulate the team of scientists who worked hard for the successful launch of South Asia Satellite. We are very proud of them. The historic occasion has been made better with a surprise- we have leaders of South Asian nations joining us in celebrating this launch," PM Modi tweeted.

Key Points about the South Asia Communication Satellite

  1. The 2,230-kg satellite will provide telecommunication links between India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Pakistan has opted out of the project.
  2. Leaders of the six beneficiary countries will video-conference their comments after the launch.
  3. The satellite will help the countries communicate better during disasters and could help establish a hotline between them. It will also help in telemedicine and education.
  4. The South Asia Satellite, which uses a new propulsion system, was built over three years. Its mission life is 12 years. The GSLV rocket that launched it weighs 414 kg and is 50 meters tall. This is the GSLV's 11th flight.
  5. The satellite has 12 Ku Band transponders -- devices that help in communication. Each nation will get access to at least one transponder. India said it was ready to help them with the ground infrastructure.
  6. Today's launch is seen as a move to counter China's space diplomacy in the region. China has helped Pakistan and Sri Lanka launch communication satellites.
  7. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the satellite embodies the "spirit of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas... inclusive development for all." That mantra, PM Modi said in his radio address Mann Ki Baat, was not confined to India alone. "It applies to the global context too. And very specially to our neighbouring countries," he said.
  8. The facilities of the satellite, the Prime Minister said, "will go a long way in addressing South Asia's economic and developmental priorities".
  9. PM Modi had, after taking office in 2014, asked scientists at ISRO to develop a SAARC satellite as a gift dedicated to neighbouring countries.
  10. Pakistan was the only SAARC member that opted out of the project, saying it has its "own space programme". Pakistan has five satellites but lacks heavy duty launchers and satellite fabrication facilities.
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