In a rare move of goodwill and innovative diplomacy, India is all set to launch South Asia Satellite, which would be available for use by all its neighbors (except Pakistan.)
The 2230 kg communication satellite has taken 3 years and Rs. 235 crore to develop and has 12 Ku-band transponders. Each country would get access to a dedicated transponder, which they can use to beam their own programs across South Asia.
GSAT-9 aka South Asia Satellite would be launched into geo-synchronous orbit on the 5th of May from Sriharikota on the coast of the Bay of Bengal and Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) would be used for this mission of peace and development.
The entire mission is expected to cost India Rs. 450 crore and would be the first instance of a satellite being used for such innovative diplomacy. This has become the need of the hour, with China looking to expand its sphere of influence by undertaking various developmental works in neighboring countries. Leading to increased diplomatic influence amongst India’s neighbors as well as bases of operation for its navy and airforce.