PM Modi Says Launch Of South Asia Satellite a Historic Moment

India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09), carrying the GSAT-9, also called the ‘South Asia Satellite’, was launched on Friday. The GSLV-F09 took off from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota.

According to the ISRO website, the GSLV-F9 mission is the eleventh flight of GSLV and its fourth consecutive flight with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS).

GSAT-9 is a Geostationary Communication Satellite with the objective to provide various communication applications in Ku-band with coverage over South Asian countries.

GSAT-9 is configured around the ISRO’s standard I-2K bus, with lift off mass of 2,230 kg. The main structure of the satellite is cuboid in shape, built around a central cylinder with a mission life of more than 12 years.

Launch of South Asian Satellite a Historic Moment: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation after the launch of the satellite and said that the successful launch of South Asian Satellite is a historic moment and it opens up new horizons of engagement.

Modi congratulated the ISRO team of satellites and said he was very proud of them.

The Prime Minister also thanked other countries who were a part of the press conference and said that the satellite will greatly benefit South Asia and the region's progress.

Preparations for the launch of GSAT-9, the South Asia Communication Satellite that will boost connectivity among nations in the region, were “going on smoothly,” ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar said in Chennai on 4 May.

Costing around Rs 235 crore, the satellite will serve the neighbouring countries through 12 Ku band transponders carried by it and has a mission life of 12 years.

On future launches, the ISRO Chairman said the space agency would launch the GSLV MK III variant which would be followed by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in the coming months.

‘A Priceless Gift’

While announcing the launch of the satellite, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the GSAT-9 as India’s “priceless gift” to its neighbours, as part of the ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’ concept.

Modi during ‘Mann Ki Baat’ We have always attempted to move ahead with the concept of ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’ (cooperation of all, development for all).

The concept of 'sabka sath, sabka vikas' is not confined to India but is relevant globally too, especially in the context of the neighbourhood, he said.

There should be cooperation of our neighbours and there should be development of our neighbours too. On 5 May, India will launch the South Asia Satellite. The benefits of this satellite will go a long way in meeting the developmental needs of the countries participating in this project.

The Prime Minister said the satellite will help South Asia in its “overall development”. The benefits will be in the areas of mapping of natural resources, tele-medicine, education, IT connectivity and people-to-people links, he said.

Seven out of eight SAARC countries are a part of the project, which Pakistan refused to join as it did not want the "gift" from India.

Soon after taking over as the Prime Minister in 2014, Modi had made a unilateral proposal to launch the satellite whose data would be shared with the eight SAARC countries for their development.

Initially, it was to be named the 'SAARC Satellite' but its name was changed to South Asia Satellite after Pakistan refused to join the project.

(With inputs from PTI. This story has been updated)