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Historic South Asia Satellite GSAT-9 launch today, PM Modi calls it 'gift to neighbours'; Pakistan not part of project

The Countdown Has Begun For The Launch Of The South Asia Communication Satellite GSAT-9. The Satellite Will Boost Connectivity Among Nations In The Region.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Vivek Arya | Updated on: 05 May 2017, 12:11:11 AM
Countdown begins for ISRO's South Asia Communication Satellite GSAT-9 (Photo: ISRO)

New Delhi:

The countdown has begun for the launch of the South Asia Communication Satellite GSAT-9. The satellite will boost connectivity among nations in the region.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will blast off the Geostationary Communication Satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.

“We have the launch tomorrow at 4.57 PM in the evening... All activities are going on smoothly,” ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar said.

The GSLV-F09 carrying GSAT-9 will be launched from the second launch pad at the the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

“The 28-hour countdown operations of GSLV-F09/GSAT-9 mission started at 12:57 hrs today,” the ISRO issued a statement.

ALSO READ: ISRO's SAARC satellite GSAT-09 launch on May 5: All you need to know about PM Modi's pet project

Only one of the eight SAARC countries, Pakistan has opted out of the mission stating it has its own space programme. The other countries include India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldives.

Meant for providing communication and disaster support, connectivity among the countries of South Asia region, the satellite is costing around Rs 235 crore.

GSAT-9 is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream mission as after coming to power in 2014, he had asked the ISRO scientists to develop a SAARC satellite that can be dedicated to neighbouring countries as a gift from India.

The Prime Minister on his last ‘Mann Ki Baat’ edition said, “On May 5, 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.”

While talking about the future plans, the ISRO Chairman said that it would launch GSLV MK III variant, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Chandrayaan-II.

With inputs from PTI.

ALSO READ: India to launch GSAT-9 satellite, Modi's gift to SAARC nations on May 5

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First Published : 04 May 2017, 10:35:00 PM

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