Modi greets ISRO over launching of India’s heaviest satellite

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congratulated the country’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as it overnight launched into orbit India’s heaviest ever satellite to help boost broadband internet services.

“Congrats to ISRO for the successful launch of GSAT-11. . . A major milestone for our space programme, which will transform the lives of crores of Indians by connecting remote areas (through the internet”, he said.

Modi said India was proud of its scientists “who keep innovating and setting high standards of scale, achievements and success”.

The GSAT-11 which weighs about 5,854kg went into orbit on a French rocket while New Delhi said it was the country’s “most-advanced” multi-band communication satellite which ISRO launched from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana early on Wednesday morning.

ISRO chief K Sivan said the satellite would “play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country” while it would be placed in a geostationary orbit by the end of this month.

ISRO officials earlier said GSAT-11would provide internet access to “off-grid” remote areas in India – hills and islands, where traditional fixed-line broadband services were not available.

They said the satellite would be helpful during emergencies and disaster relief while it would also help provide internet connectivity during air travel in India.

There are more than 440 million internet users in India, and the number is expected to double by 2022.

India earlier launched dozens of communication and weather satellites in orbit and in 2014, it successfully placed a space vessel in orbit around Mars, making it the first nation in the world to do so in its first attempt.

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