New Delhi: On Friday, India will launch the South Asia Satellite from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The communications satellite will be propelled into space by the Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). This will be its 11th flight. The satellite is seen as India's space diplomacy to counter China's growing influence in the area. A total of seven SAARC nations, including India, will benefit from the satellite. The 2,230-kg communications satellite, which has been built in three years at a cost of Rs. 235 crore, will be carried by a 50-m-tall rocket.
Q: How can I watch live launch of South Asia Satellite?
Ans: The satellite launch will be streamed live on NDTV.com.
Q: What are the timings of the satellite launch?
Ans: The launch is set for 4.57 pm on Friday.
Q: What are the functions of the South Asia satellite?
Ans: The functions of the South Asia satellite will include natural resources mapping, telemedicine, education, deeper IT connectivity. The satellite has 12 Ku-band transponders.
Each country will get access to at least one transponder that they can utilise to bolster their communication capabilities. However, the biggest beneficiaries will be Bhutan and Maldives as the rest have their own space programmes. India's most hostile neighbour, Pakistan, is not participating in the project. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have their satellites built with help from China; Afghanistan also uses an old India-made satellite acquired from Europe. Bangladesh is likely to launch its first satellite later this year.