The South Asia Satellite GSAT-9 created history when it was placed into orbit by GSLV F09 rocket, India's gift to its neighbours aimed to land among the stars from the Sriharikota launch centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in coastal Andhra Pradesh on Friday.
PM Modi took to Twitter to laud the launch, he posted "I congratulate the team of scientists who worked hard for the successful launch of South Asia Satellite. We are very proud of them".
I congratulate the team of scientists who worked hard for the successful launch of South Asia Satellite. We are very proud of them. @isro— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 5, 2017
Here are ten 'must-know things' you need to learn about PM Modi's 'priceless gift to SAARC nations:
1. The 2,230 kg satellite is built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota using a Geostationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-II launch vehicle.
2. The satellite has been named GSAT-9. It offers full range of applications and services in the areas of telecommunication and broadcasting applications viz. Television, Direct-to-Home (DTH), Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), Tele-education, Telemedicine and Disaster Management Support.
3. Standing 49 metres tall and weighing around 450 ton, the GSLV is a three stage rocket. The first stage is fired with solid fuel, the second with liquid fuel and the third is the cryogenic engine.
4. The South Asia Satellite has 12 Ku band transponders which India's neighbours can utilise to increase communications.
5. The satellite was announced by Mr. Modi during the 2014 SAARC summit in Nepal and all SAARC countries joined the project except Pakistan who opted out saying it has its "own space programme".
6. Initially, it was to be named as ‘SAARC Satellite’ but its name was changed to South Asia Satellite after Pakistan refused to join the project.
7. The total cost of launching the satellite is estimated to be about ₹235 crore and the cost associated with the launch will be met by the Government of India, Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space.
8. It can also provide secure hot-lines among the participating nations, which will be useful in case of management of disasters like earthquakes, cyclones, floods and tsunamis.
9. Praising India's "neighbour first policy", the heads of the neighbouring countries thanked PM Modi for the "gift" and said "it (the launch) will bring common progress of our region".
10.Leaders of South Asian countries joined Mr. Modi via video conference to celebrate the success of the launch.