In a historic move, the Indian Space Research Organisation on Friday launched the GSAT-9, a South Asia Communication Satellite that will boost connectivity among nations in the region. The Geostationary Communication Satellite, built by ISRO, was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the launch of the South Asian Satellite by India as a "historic moment" and said it opens up new horizons of engagement among the countries of the region.

He congratulated the ISRO team:

Here is all you need to know about it:

  • Initially, it was to be named as 'SAARC Satellite' but its name was changed to South Asia Satellite after Pakistan refused to join the project. India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Afghanistan are now part of the project.
  • It costs around Rs 235 crore and is meant for providing communication and disaster support, and connectivity among the countries of South Asia region. Its mission life will span 12 years.
  • The satellite will provide significant capability to each of the participating countries in terms of DTH, certain VSAT capacity plus linking among the states for disaster information transfer.

(With inputs from PTI)