'Made in India' South-Asia satellite launched successfully

Tammy Harvey
May 6, 2017

It seems this gift of a communications satellite for use by neighbours at no cost has no parallels in the space- faring world, all other current regional consortia are commercial for-profit enterprises.

The satellite, codenamed GSAT-9, is also called the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) satellite. "It opens up new horizons of engagement", Modi tweeted immediately after the GSLV-F09 carrying South Asia Communication Satellite lifted off from Sriharikota spaceport.

Modi, too, emphasised on the uniqueness of the project and described the launch as a "historic" day for South Asia.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) took three years to build the satellite, which was launched by its reliable Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

He added: "Space technology will touch the lives of our people in the region".

The almost 50-m-tall rocket that weighs about 412 tons had on board a single passenger, what is now dubbed as the South Asia Satellite or what the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) still prefers to call GSat-9.

Congratulating Modi and the Indian government for the launch of the satellite, Nepal Prime Minister Dahal said this would enhance connectivity. Our coming together is a sign of our unshakeable resolve to place the needs of our peoples in the forefront.

The South Asia Satellite will be commissioned into service after the completion of orbit raising operations and the satellite's positioning in its designated slot in the GSO following in-orbit testing of its payloads. It is also expected to cement bonds between Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, and overcome the negative vibes from Pakistan, which is the only South Asian country to opt out of the project.

"We want to cooperate with all countries for creating an area of peace in South Asia where we can live as good neighbours and pursue constructive policies for the benefit of our peoples, as envisioned by our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman", Hasina added.

He said India offered to "gift" a satellite to Saarc member states, to be named as the "SAARC Satellite".

"With this (satellite), we have expanded our connectivity from land, water and air to space. It will bring common progress of our region", Tobgay said.

Yameen said the "very special gift" symbolises vision and commitment of Modi towards the region.

Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Nafees Zakaria said the country was initially "keen to participate in the project".

The Prime Minister thanked the leaders of the participating countries for their strong and valuable support that translated this vision into reality.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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