India Set To Launch ‘South Asia Satellite’

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch the South Asia satellite – GSAT-9 – on May 5.
The Indian government confirmed the news on May 1, saying in a statement that the move would help almost all the South Asian countries receive valuable information from the satellite. According to the statement, the launch of the satellite is scheduled onboard ISRO’s ‘GSLV-09’ rocket from Sriharikota spaceport.
Meanwhile, ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said that the communication satellite would be India’s gift to its neighbours, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 2014 SAARC Summit in Kathmandu. The senior Indian scientist admitted that the satellite would not benefit Pakistan, which is not a part of the project. Soon after the Indian premier made the announcement, Pakistan informed the SAARC that it would not be part of the project. Islamabad made such a decision after New Delhi rejected its proposal to invest in the project due to security reasons. However, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka agreed to be part of this mission.
Meanwhile, Kiran Kumar informed the press that the satellite, with a lift-off mass of 2,195kg, would carry 12 ku-band transponders. He said that the satellite, which has been designed for a mission life of more than 12 years, would provide communication and disaster support, and connectivity among states in the region. It will also help South Asian countries improve their DTH capacity and certain VSAT capacity, apart from linking them for disaster information transfer. “So, there is a significant amount of inter-linking possible among the states,” stressed Kiran Kumar.
Sources close to ISRO claimed that each participating country would be able to use a dedicated transponder with a capacity of 36-54Mhz for own internal use.
India also plans to construct a ground station in Vietnam. According to sources close to the Indian space agency, the proposed station will not only help the South Asian country with applications, like disaster management support, but can also be used to provide training in space science, technology and applications.
A senior ISRO official said that they would set up ground infrastructure in neighbouring countries for using satellite services. “It will be done on the basis of mutual co-operation after the satellite’s launch,” he added.

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