The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch the ‘South Asia Satellite’ (SAS) on May 5. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was addressing the nation in his ‘Mann ki Baat’.
The South Asia satellite is being built by India and will be used by countries belonging to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region.
While announcing the launch date, PM Modi said the capacities of the satellite and the facilities it provides “will go a long way in addressing South Asia’s economic and developmental priorities.”
“Natural resources mapping, tele-medicine, the field of education, deeper IT connectivity or fostering people to people contact — this satellite will prove to be a boon in the progress of the entire region. It is an important step by India to enhance co-operation with the entire South Asia… it is an invaluable gift. This is an appropriate example of our commitment towards South Asia,” he said.
The total cost to be incurred in the launch of the satellite is estimated to be about Rs 235 crore. Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh had said earlier that the Government of India will bear the launch cost.
The satellite has been named GSAT-09. 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.
ISRO has built the GSAT-09, which weighs 2,230 kg and sports 12 Ku-band transponders. Having a mission life of more than 12 years, the cuboid-shaped satellite is built around a central cylinder.
The GSAT-09 will be blasted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on May 5. A Geostationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-II launch vehicle will carry the satellite.
This will be the 11th flight of the GSLV and the GSLV-F09 is about 50m tall. Also, this will be its fourth consecutive flight with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) engine.