'Historic' GSAT-9 launch opens up new horizons of engagement: PM

| Updated: May 05, 2017 23:32 IST

New Delhi [India], May 5 (ANI): Terming the successful launch of South Asian Satellite as 'historic', Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said it opens 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. He further said that space technology will touch the lives of the people in the region. "The ISRO team has led from the front in developing the South Asia Satellite as per the regions' requirements and flawlessly launching it. Convinced that when we join hands and mutually share fruits of knowledge, technology and growth, we can speed up development and prosperity," he added. Prime Minister Modi along with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Maldives President Abdullah Yamin, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Nepal Prime Minister P. K. DAHAL joined via video conference. The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09) carrying the GSAT-9 or the "South Asia" satellite took off at 4:57 pm on Friday. Built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the rocket blasted off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, about 135 km from here. The satellite, costing around Rs 235 crore, is meant for providing communication and disaster support, connectivity among the countries of South Asia region. Its mission life will span 12 years. This is India's eleventh GSLV launch and its fourth consecutive flight using an indigenous Cryogenic engine powering the upper stage. (ANI)

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