South Asian Satellite – Highlights
- GSLV-F09 launches 2230 kg South Asia Satellite GSAT-9 into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
- GSLV-F09 mission is the eleventh flight of India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and its fourth consecutive flight with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS).
- The vehicle is designed to inject 2 – 2.5 ton class of satellites into GTO.
- GSLV-F09 was launched on May 05, 2017 from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota, the space port of India.
- In its oval shaped GTO, the South Asia Satellite is now orbiting the Earth with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 169 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 36,105 km with an orbital inclination of 20.65 deg with respect to the equator.
- S-band telemetry and C-band transponders enable GSLV-F09 performance monitoring, tracking, range safety/flight safety and Preliminary Orbit Determination (POD).
- The South Asia Satellite has 12 Ku band transponders which India’s neighbours can utilise to increase communications.
- 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.
- Each country will get access to at least one transponder through which they could beam their own programming.
South Asian Satellite – Political Points
- Space diplomacy has touched new heights with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unique gift in the sky to South Asian neighbours.
- The gift of a communications satellite for use by neighbours at no cost has perhaps no precedent worldwide.
- Its footprint that extends all over South Asia.
- Heads of Government from all the seven South Asian nations who are benefiting from the satellite, connected via video conference, in a unique celebration of the successful launch.
- The satellite is also an important step by India to enhance cooperation with the entire South Asia and reinforce its leadership position in the region. Therefore it is being referred to as part of a space diplomacy program and “neighbourhood first” policy of the Modi government.
- The satellite is also a step to counter China’s growing interest and dominance in the region.
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 payloads.