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ISRO launches GSAT-9 satellite with 12 Ku-band transponders

MUMBAI: The India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched the 2230-kg South Asia Satellite (GSAT-9) into its planned Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) using Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09) today.

The launch of GSAT-9 is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s space diplomacy to strengthen ties with the country’s South Asian neighbours. The satellite, which has been fabricated in three years at a cost of over Rs 230 crore, is a gift to India’s neighbours at no cost.

The satellite will facilitate DTH television, VSAT links, tele-education, telemedicine and disaster management support. It will provide critical communication links in times of disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, floods and tsunamis.

With a footprint extending all over South Asia, the satellite has 12 Ku-band transponders which India’s neighbours can utilise to increase communications. Each country will get access to at least one transponder to beam their own programming.

Heads of government from all the seven South Asian nations that are benefiting from the satellite connected via video conference in a unique celebration of the successful launch.

Following the successful launch, PM Modi delivered an addressed along with his South Asian counterparts. Congratulated ISRO on the success of the launch, he said that this was a historic day for South Asia and a day without precedence. The PM recalled that two years ago India had made a promise to extend advanced space technology for the cause of growth and prosperity of the people of South Asia and that the successful launch of the GSAT-9 satellite marked the fulfilment of that promise.

In the coming days, the satellite orbit will be raised from its present GTO to the final circular Geostationary Orbit (GSO) by firing the satellite’s Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) in stages. The South Asia Satellite will be commissioned into service after the completion of orbit-raising operations and the satellite’s positioning in its designated slot in the GSO following in-orbit testing of its payload.