India And Space
The beginning of Space Research in India
The national agency vested with the authority and responsibility for the development of space technology for harnessing technological, economic and other national benefits in India is the ISRO. ISRO was established in 1969 as a replacement for the former INCOSPAR. Space research in India is traceable to the 1920s. However, organised space research in India began in 1945. Dr. Vikram Sarabhai is regarded as the father of India’s space programme. He it was who founded The Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad.
The History of ISRO
The activities of the ISRO are run by the Space Agency who report to the Prime Minister of India. India’s first satellite was built by ISRO and was launched in 1975 by the Soviets. This first satellite was named Aryabhata. In 1980, India successfully launched the Rohinni by using an Indian built launch vehicle. This was a major breakthrough in India’s space program as first of its kind. The Indian built launch vehicle was SLV-3 and SLV stands for Satellite Launch Vehicle. Subsequently, the ISRO successfully developed two other rockets. These were the PSLV, and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV.
The first of these launched satellites while the second one was for launching satellites into geostationary orbits. Numerous satellites, some of them for communications and others for earth observation, have since been launched by deploying these launch vehicles. In 2014, India successfully launched GSAT-14 by using an indigenous cryogenic engine in GSLV-D5. In 2008, India’s ISRO successfully sent a mission into the moon. This first mission was the Chandrayaan-1. Early in November 2013, India became the first nation to succeed in its maiden attempt to launch an Orbit Mission into the orbit of planet Mars. This feat also made the ISRO, the first space agency from Asia to successfully enter the orbit of Mars. In 2008, India became the first nation to succeed in launching ten satellites at once using only one rocket.
The Ambitious Plans of ISRO
The ISRO has ambitious plans for the future including the development of a heavy launch vehicle, the GSLV Mk III, spaceflight by humans, further exploration of the moon, and the making of a reusable launch vehicle. Other plans include interplanetary probes and a solar study satellite. ISRO has carried out numerous operations for both indigenous and foreign clients. Not less than 41 foreign satellites have been put into orbit by ISRO.