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ISRO is all set to launch 'South Asia Satellite' GSAT-9 built for use of SAARC countries
PM Modi's gift to SAARC countries, the communication satellite GSAT-9 will be launched on May 5 using ISRO's heavy rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the satellite will go a long way in addressing the region's economic and developmental priorities.

In his radio address 'Mann Ki Baat', the Prime Minister said, "The capacities of this satellite and the facilities it provides will go a long way in addressing South Asia's economic and developmental priorities."

"Natural resources mapping, tele-medicine, the field of education, deeper IT connectivity or fostering people-to-people contact – this satellite will prove to be a boon in the progress of the entire region," the PM added.

Emphasising on the satellite being an important step towards improving ties with the rest of the South Asian countries, the prime minister said, "It is an important step by India to enhance cooperation with the entire South Asia... It is an invaluable gift. This is an appropriate example of our commitment towards South Asia. I welcome all the South Asian countries who have joined us on the South Asia Satellite in this momentous endeavor."

The cost of launching the satellite has been estimated at about Rs 235 crore. This satellite was announced by PM Modi during the 2014 SAARC summit in Nepal. All SAARC countries are a part of this project, except Pakistan.

The GSAT-09 satellite is capable of delivering full range of applications and services which will be used in telecommunication and broadcasting applications including television, Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), Direct-to-Home (DTH), tele-medicine, Tele-education, and Disaster Management Support.

The satellite which is about 50m tall, weighs 2,230 kg, has 12 Ku-band transponders, is cuboid in shape. It has been built around a central cylinder and has a mission life of more than 12 years.

The satellite will be launched using a Geostationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-II launch vehicle from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

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