India launches ‘invaluable’ South Asia Satellite (SAS) for its neighbors

India launches ‘invaluable’ South Asia Satellite (SAS) for its neighbors

South Asia Satellite (SAS)

 
 

India on Friday, 05/05/2017 successfully launched the “South Asia satellite”  SAS, entirely funded by it. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has announced it in 2014 of serving all eight nations of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) with a positive diplomatic gesture by providing them regional Cooperative service in the Sky. At fast the satellite was named as SAARC satellite but after the retreat of Pakistan, it renamed as South Asia satellite (SAS). The satellite launch comes at a time of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan. India accused Pakistan of mutilating the bodies of two of its soldiers in Kashmir. Some suggested that Pakistan may have pulled out due to espial concerns. However, Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Nafeez Zakaria said the country was initially “keen to participate in the project, as India was not willing to develop the project on a collaborative basis, it was not possible for Pakistan to support it as a regional project under the umbrella of SAARC.” 

 
 
The satellite was built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), it is a communication satellite GSAT-9 was put into orbit by 49-meter tall Geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV).
 
 
The GSLV- F09 launch vehicle blasted off at IST 4.57 pm from the launch pad-2 of  Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh and sent GSAT- 9 satellite 36000 km above the Earth’s surface in Geosynchronous Orbit. The GSLV – F09 also powered by indigenously built cryogenic upper stage.
 
 
 
The satellite weighed more than 2000 kg with 12 Ku-band and transponders transmitter, one transponder is dedicated for each country though they have to build their own ground controlling infrastructure.
 
 
 
The satellite’s launch is seen by many as a move by India to leash its big brother role in the region and cements its relations with neighbours. Beijing also launched a satellite for its ally Pakistan in 2011 and launch another for Sri Lanka in 2012. China always tried out to under check India, as India is an emerging competitor in Asia. Experts say the move of India is designed to counter China’s growing influence in South Asia. 
 
 
After the successful launch, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a video conference celebrates the success of launch with the leaders of the SAARC countries, it includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and The Maldives, except Pakistan.
 
 
The satellite will provide many faculties to India’s neighbours because it has 12 Ku transponders. It will improve the regional communications service such as telecommunications, banking service, Internet, e-medicine, remote education etc. The satellite is also capable of providing crucial weather and climate forecasting that will help the Nations in times of natural disaster.
 
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