The South Asia Satellite, India’s “priceless gift” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to its neighbours as part of of the ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’ concept is set to launch on May 5.
Here are six big things you must know about this precious project:
- The satellite was announced by Mr. Modi during the 2014 SAARC summit in Nepal and all SAARC countries have since joined it except Pakistan.
- 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.
- 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.
- The satellite called GSAT-09 enables 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.
- 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.
- The 2,230 kg satellite is built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota using a Geostationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-II launch vehicle.