Isro to launch South Asia Satellite on 5 May; Pakistan not on board

15 Apr 2017


The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) plans to launch the 'South Asia Satellite' early next month that will benefit all the countries in the region except Pakistan, which is not a part of the project.

Isro's heavy duty GSLV-09 rocket is scheduled to lift off from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh carrying the South Asia Satellite, with a lift-off mass of 2,195 kg, on 5 May.

The communication satellite (GSAT-9) would carry 12 ku-band transponders, Isro officials said, adding that the satellite is designed for a mission life of more than 12 years.

''It's going up in the first week of May,'' a PTI report quoted Isro chairman A S Kiran Kumar as saying in a telephonic interview.

''Pakistan is not included in that. They did not want (to be part of the project),'' the Isro chief said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proposed plans for a `Saarc Satellite' during the 2014 SAARC Summit in Kathmandu, as a ''gift to India's neighbours.''

The satellite, however, was later renamed 'South Asia Satellite', after Pakistan walked out of the project and its name had to be dropped from the list of nations taking part in the project.

"Basically, it (the satellite) is meant for providing communication and disaster support, connectivity among States (countries of South Asia region). It will provide a significant capability to each of these participating States in terms of DTH, certain VSAT capacity plus linking among the states for both disaster information transfer and also in terms of library type of things," the Isro chief said.

"So, there is a significant amount of inter-linking possible among the states," he said.

The satellite would have the potential to provide each participating country with a dedicated transponder capacity of 36 to 54 MHz for own internal use.

Each country would be responsible for content generation and its use, they said.

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