ISRO launches into space GSAT-9 & India’s S. Asian space diplomacy

ISRO launches into space GSAT-9 & India’s S. Asian space diplomacy

MUMBAI: Prime Minister Modi’s Rs 450 crore (Rs. 4,500 million) Asian space diplomacy took flight today with the launch of South Asia Satellite GSAT-9 by Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO) on Friday. Pakistan is not participating in this initiative.

The satellite, when it finally gets commissioned, would provide services specific to individual countries as per their own needs and priorities as also common services. Each country would be allocated one transponder each. The South Asian nations that would benefit from this Indian initiative include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal.     

The South Asia Satellite has 12-KU band transponders, which India's neighbors can utilize to increase communications. However, the on-ground infrastructure for the usage of satellite capacity will have to be built by each respective country, though, according to an official government statement, India is willing to help them do that too.   

According to a report in the Economic Times newspaper, each of the participating South Asian nation could benefit up to USD 1.5 billion over the 12-year lifespan of GSAT-9.

The satellite will facilitate DTH television, VSAT links, tele-education, telemedicine and disaster management support. It will provide critical communication links in times of disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, floods, and tsunamis.

Congratulating ISRO for the development and launch of the satellite, PM Modi, while conferring with the heads of participating nations via video conference, said, “As governments, our most important task is to secure growth, development and peace for our people and communities. And, I am convinced that when we join hands and mutually share the fruits of knowledge, technology and growth, we can speed up our development and prosperity.” 

The vehicle is designed to inject 2- 2.5 ton class of satellites into space. The overall length of GSLV-F09 is 49.1 m. GSLV-F09 was launched on May 5, 2017 from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota, the space port of India.

GSLV-F09 vehicle configuration, including the CUS, is similar to the ones successfully flown during the previous three missions --- GSLV-D5, D6 and F05 --- in January 2014, August 2015 and September 2016, respectively. GSLV-D5 and D6 successfully placed two communication satellites, GSAT-14 and GSAT-6, while GSLV-F05 placed India’s weather satellite INSAT-3DR in the intended GTOs.
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