South Asia gets its own satellite - ISRO's SAS

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As ISRO's SAS satellite offering services to all south Asian nations bar Pakistan is launched, a new era of regional cooperation can begin.


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South Asia gets its own satellite



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  1. Taking a lead in the SAARC : The Rs. 235 crore “South Asia Satellite” was successfully launched on May 5, 2017 from Sriharikota centre of ISRO, India. To everyone’s surprise, PM Modi had announced during the SAARC summit at Nepal in November 2014, the launch of a SAARC satellite for the benefit of the SAARC member countries. That was regional diplomacy at its scientific best!
  2. No love lost between India and Pakistan : With Pakistan fully opting out of the project, the "South Asia Satellite" will cater to India, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Afghanistan, which is yet to sign the deal is also on board. The SAARC already has become practically dysfunctional, and this could be a new road for India. Pakistan decided to opt out suggesting that it had its own space programme. It has five satellites but lacks heavy duty launchers and satellite fabrication facilities.
  3. Pakistan and Afghanistan : Three SAARC nations already have full-fledged communication satellites: Pakistan and Sri Lanka have been helped by China and Afghanistan has a communication satellite which is an old India-made satellite acquired from Europe.
  4. GSAT 9 : The 2,230 kg communication satellite, which Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) calls GSAT-9, has been built over three years. The satellite will enable a full range of services to the participating SAARC countries (Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Afghanistan), which include telecommunication, television, direct-to-home, VSATs, tele-education and telemedicine. The Ministry of External Affairs is piloting the project.
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  6. Hotlines : It can also provide secure hot-lines among the participating nations, which will be useful in case of management of disasters like earthquakes, cyclones, floods and tsunamis. The "South Asia Satellite" has 12 transponders -- devices for forming a communication channel with radio signals. Each nation will get access to at least one transponder, through which they could beam their own programming. Each nation will have to develop its own ground infrastructure.
  7. The Launch : After a 28 hour countdown, it was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota using a Geostationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-II launch vehicle. GSAT-9 will be strategically more important than the other GSATs because it is the one called the South Asia Satellite (SAS). It should be remembered that ISRO made a world record by launching 104 satellites in one shot on 15-Feb 2017.
  8. A new experiment : ISRO is experimenting with this system as a satellite station-keeping measure, which means the system will be responsible for adjusting the satellite’s position while it is in orbit. This saves the satellite from carrying a certain amount of fuel and allows it to carry a heavier payload.
  9. Deep Dive : You can read a full Bodhi on ISRO, here. And if you wish to read up on SAARC, head here!
  10. You can purchase the original bilingual content PDF of this (English + Hindi) - click here!
  11. Do check out exams-focussed Confidence and Vocabulary Booster series of learning resources, here
Enjoy the launch video!






A new era of cooperation can begin with SAARC's SAS


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Bodhi Saar: South Asia gets its own satellite - ISRO's SAS
South Asia gets its own satellite - ISRO's SAS
As ISRO's SAS satellite offering services to all south Asian nations bar Pakistan is launched, a new era of regional cooperation can begin.
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