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India launches 'invaluable' South Asia satellite GSAT-9 |GSLV-F09 Vehicle

GSAT-9 Satellite

India has successfully launched a new communication satellite for neighboring countries from Sriharikota space Centre on May 5th 2017. GSAT-9 satellite is a gift for SAARC countries Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. India made its biggest space diplomacy push today when the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09), carrying the GSAT-9 or the "South Asia" satellite, was launched successfully at 4.57 p.m. with 28-hour countdown. The GSAT-9 has been launched with an objective to provide different communication applications in Ku-band with coverage over South Asian countries. 

GSAT-9 Satellite:

Launch Time:                      May 5th 2017 at 4:57pm (IST)

Launch Centre: SatishDhawan Space Centre Sriharikota High Altitude Range (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

Weight:                                Dry mass 976 kg, Lift-off mass 2230 kg

Mission Life                      More than 12 years

Power Generation:             3500 Watts of electrical power, two 90 AH Ion batteries

Satellite Application:         Communication which includes

Antennas: 1.4 m Ku-band reflector on West side (for reception); 2.0 m by 2.2 m Ku-band reflector on East side (for transmission)

Satellite Control: Three axes stabilized. Orientation reference from Sun and Earth Sensors and Gyros. Momentum Wheels, Magnetic Torquers as well as Chemical and Ion Thrusters for orbit and Orientation Control

Orbit Type:                            Geo Synchronous Orbit (GSO)

Payloads:                              Ku-band Transponders

Launch Vehicle:                   GSLV-09

GSLV-F09 Vehicle:

GSLV-F09 is the 11th flight of geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and its fourth consecutive flight with the indigenous cryogenic upper stage (CUS). The vehicle is designed to inject 2-2.5 ton class of satellites in to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

Length:                                  49.1 m

Launch date:               May 5th 2017

Launch centre:            SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, India

“GSAT-9 Satellite mission is part of PM Modi's proposal on June 30, 2014 to ISRO, asking them to develop a satellite that can be dedicated to our neighborhood as a 'gift' from India.” 

Modi's efforts got a jolt when even after participating in the planning meeting on June 22, 2015, Pakistan decided to 'opt out' from the proposed SAARC satellite, suggesting it had its own space program'. The satellite, funded entirely by India, is aimed at helping regional countries boost their telecommunication and broadcasting services. Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan will benefit from this satellite. But Pakistan has opted out from the initiative.

The South Asia Satellite has 12 Ku band transponders which India's neighbors can use to improve their communications services. Each country will get access to at least one transponder, but they will have to develop their own ground infrastructure. The satellite is also capable of providing crucial communication links between the nations in times of natural disasters. So it seems Mr. Modi is placing the ISRO in a new orbit by providing this space-based platform that would have cost the participating nations almost $1,500m. According to the government, the satellite will enable a full range of services to India's neighbors in telecommunication and broadcasting areas such as television, direct-to-home (DTH) services, education, telemedicine, weather forecasting and disaster management support.

GSAT-9 South Asia satellite will help the countries co-ordinate rescue efforts and have a secure line of communication during disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, floods and tsunamis. At least one transponder of this satellite will be available to the participating countries, which will help them connect with one another. In other words, the satellite will help India gain a footprint that extends all over South Asia. Not just that, this 'gift' is a first such move from any country in this region. 

GSAT-9 Satellite

GSAT-9 Satellite Cost And Life Cycle:

The participating nations anticipate Rs.10,000 crore ($1.5 billion) benefit from the satellite's 12-year lifespan

GSAT-9 Satellite Benefits:

The satellite also has the capability to provide secure hot lines among the participating nations in addition since the region is highly prone to earthquakes, cyclones, floods, tsunamis and it may help in providing critical communication links in times of disasters. The 2230-kg satellite has been fabricated in three years and is purely a communications satellite costing Rs 450 crore. The satellite's main structure is cuboid in shape, built around a central cylinder with a mission.

Source: ISRO, India

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