SAARC Satellite launch likely in December 2016

Bengaluru, Jun 26: India is expected to launch in December next year the SAARC satellite, proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a 'gift to the neighbours', Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman Kiran Kumar today said.

"Expected in next December - the launch...once the final approval comes about eighteen months is what we are taking, but we expect (it) some time in December....," he told reporters here.

Speaking on the sidelines of IISC Alumni Global Conference 2015 'Science for Society', he said "....meeting has taken place (with SAARC countries), MEA is coordinating this. The satellite will have twelve 'Ku' transponders," he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in June last year asked ISRO to develop a SAARC satellite which can be dedicated as a "gift" to the neighbouring countries to help them in areas such as tele-medicine, weather forecasting and communication.

Modi made an announcement on India's decision to develop the satellite at the SAARC summit in Kathmandu last November.

On Monday, deliberations were held with experts from other SAARC countries to finalise modalities for developing a satellite exclusively for the regional grouping. Speaking about the meeting, Kumar said "It was a very good meeting, we had five representatives from each of the seven countries other than India...So it was an extremely good meeting where all participants were made aware of what can be done with the SAARC satellite, so all went back quite happy.%2

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