Bengaluru: India on Friday successfully launched GSAT-9 or the South Asia Communication Satellite, fully funded by it and touted as an "invaluable gift" to its South Asian neighbours, that would provide communication and disaster support to the nations of the region.
Built by the Indian Space Research Organisation, its latest communication satellite GSAT-9 called SAS rode piggyback on the 50-m-tall rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09) with the indigenous cryogenic powering the Upper Stage.
The GSLV-F09 blasted off at 4:57 pm in clear weather from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh and injected the GSAT-9 into the orbit in a flawless flight.
President of India Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President Hamid Ansari have both congratulated the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on the successful launch of the South Asia satellite-GSAT-09.
In a message to A.S. Kiran Kumar, Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman of ISRO, the President said, “My heartiest congratulations to you and the entire team at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), on the successful launch of the South Asia satellite-GSAT-09."
In his message, Hamid Ansari said, "I offer my congratulations to the Scientists, Engineers and Technicians of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for the successful launch of GSLV-F09 carrying South Asia Geostationary Communication Satellite (GSAT-9), which will boost connectivity and cooperation among all participating SAARC countries."
"The flawless launch demonstrates India’s capabilities in Geosynchronous Satellite launching. I wish ISRO all the very best for the future". he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the GSAT-9 launch as a "historic mement" and said the event has opened up new horizons of engagement.
"Today is a historic day for South Asia...a day without precedence. Two years ago India made a promise. A promise to extend the advanced space technology for the cause of growth and prosperity of our brothers and sisters in South Asia. With this launch we have started a journey to build the most advanced frontier of our partnership," Prime Minister Modi said.
Congratulating the team of scientists who worked hard for the successful launch of South Asia Satellite, the Prime Minister said they are very proud of them.
"We extend our close links into Outer Space. Grateful to fellow leaders from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka for joining me to celebrate this launch. Our coming together is a sign of our unshakeable resolve to place the needs of our peoples in the forefront.
"Through this we will achieve effective communication, better governance, better banking services and better education in remote areas," he added.