Sriharikota, May 5: India on Friday gifted a communication satellite to South Asia. At 4:57 pm the GSLV-F09 rocket rose into the sky from the launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh, carrying the South Asian satellite,the Indo-Asian News Service reported.
The 49-metre, 415 ton rocket slung the 2,230 kg satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit, from where it would be taken up to its final geostationary orbit.
In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tasked the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to develop a satellite for use by the SAARC countries ,but since Pakistan opted out it, the satellite was re-designated South Asia satellite.
Costing around Rs 2.35 billion (About US$ 38 million), the satellite has a life span of over 12 years .Its objective is to provide communication applications in Ku-band for the user nations.
The satellite, with its 12-Ku band transponders-transmitters and receivers of radio signals, will enable telecommunication, tele-education and tele-medicine as well as mapping of natural resources.
It would also provide or augment internet connectivity and would be useful in disaster management.
Modi has said the South Asia Satellite would go a long way in addressing the region’s economic and developmental priorities.
“Natural resources mapping, telemedicine, 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,” he said.
“It is an important step by India to enhance cooperation with the entire South Asia… It is an invaluable gift. This is an appropriate example of our commitment towards South Asia. I welcome all the South Asian countries who have joined us on this momentous endeavor,” he had said.
According to an official, the ISRO decided to have electric power for the satellite.
“We have not reduced the volume of the traditional on-board fuel because of electric power. We have added electric power facility to check its performance for use in future satellites,” the official told IANS.
(The featured picture at the top shows the South Asia satellite taking wings from Sriharikota in South India)