ISRO launches South Asia Satellite into space
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched its South Asia communication satellite (GSAT-9) into space from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
Around 17min after lift-off, ISRO’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09) has placed the 2,230kg satellite into its planned geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).
Immediately after separation from GSLV, the two solar arrays of the satellite were automatically deployed in quick succession and ISRO’s master control facility (MCF) at Hassan, Karnataka, assumed control of GSAT-9.
The GSAT-9 is equipped with Ku-band transponders and will be used to provide various communication services over South Asia.
The agency has already completed the third orbit raising operation of GSAT-9 by the firing satellite's Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) engine.
The satellite’s east and west reflectors have also been deployed.
Upon completion of GSAT-9’s final positioning in its designated slot in the geostationary orbit (GSO) following in-orbit testing of its payloads, the satellite will be commissioned into service.
Developed with INR2.3bn ($36m) in funding over a period of three years, the satellite was developed as a result of a promise made by the Indian Prime Minister at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 2014, reported the Hindu.
According the promise, the satellite will be used by six neighbouring countries, including SAARC members Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, free of cost, reported Open Gov Asia.com.