A 28-hour countdown is underway for India's gift to its neighbours -- the Rs. 235-crore South Asia Satellite -- which will lift off today from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. India's space diplomacy is seen as a move to counter to China's growing influence in the area. While seven nations that are part of SAARC, including India, will use the satellite, the biggest beneficiaries could be Bhutan and Maldives as the rest have their own fledgling space programmes. Pakistan is not participating in the project.