ISRO announces launch of South Asia Satellite on 5 May; Pakistan’s name dropped

isro South Asia SatelliteThe Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be launching its South Asia Satellite on 5 May 2017. The launch aims to benefit all the countries in the region, except Pakistan. The news on the agency’s plan to launch South Asia Satellite was confirmed by ISRO chief AS Kiran Kumar during his telephonic interview with PTI. He informed that it’s going up in the first week of May 2017.

But reports suggest (on basis of ISRO sources) that the launch of this communication satellite (GSAT-9) is scheduled for 5 May 2017. It will be launched on board the space agency’s rocket GSLV-09 from Sriharikota spaceport. The satellite with a lift-mass of 2195 kilogramme would carry 12 ku-band transponders. It has been designed for a mission life of more than 12 years.

Earlier, the satellite was named as SAARC Satellite but was changed to South Asia Satellite when Pakistan was dropped from the list of nations taking part in the project. The satellite will be providing communication and disaster support as well as connectivity among countries of South Asia region.

It will be providing facilities like DTH, certain VSAT capacity plus linking among the states for both disaster information transfer and also in terms of library type of things. Each participating nation will have a potential of using a dedicated transponder with a capacity of 36 to 54 Mhz for its internal use. They will be responsible for the content generation and its use.

The launch of such a South Asian Satellite was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2014 SAARC summit that was held in Kathmandu, Nepal. In his statement, he announced that the satellite will be India’s gift to its neighbours.

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