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.