In what’s likely to be yet another landmark milestone of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the space agency is all set to launch the proposed South Asia Satellite on May 6, 2017.
Earlier called the SAARC satellite, it was renamed after Pakistan opted out of the project. The South Asia satellite is a geosynchronous communications and meteorology satellite that will provide valuable information to nations like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka that are part of the region. This includes providing valuable support when a particular region is hit by some kind of disaster.
The satellite will be launched from Sriharikota spaceport in the first week of May with the Indian Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV Mk-II.
With a lift-off mass of 2,195 kg, the satellite would be carrying 12 ku-band transponders.
Image for representation. Photo source: Facebook
ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar has been quoted by the Indian Express as saying, “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.”
It has been estimated that the total cost of launching this satellite is around ₹235 crore and the cost has been borne by the Indian government alone. Scientists have noted that the satellite will have a mission life of at least 12 years.
This won’t be the only satellite being launched by ISRO in the near future. The organisation is also preparing for the launch of a communication satellite called GSAT-19 which will be injected to space with GSLV MARK III.