• Post category:Space Exploration
  • Reading time:5 mins read

We have discussed about the significant works done by NASA, ESA, and Roscosmos. In this article, we will discuss about Indian Space Research Organization, its journey, and its achievements.

From carrying parts of the first rocket on a bicycle to finding water on the Moon, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has come a long way since its inception and has been pioneering space missions with untiring zeal. Following its incredible success over the years, it is worthwhile to also know about its journey.

Logo of Indian Space Research Organisation
Logo of Indian Space Research Organisation

ISRO was founded in 1969 to develop an independent Indian space program. Its headquarters are in Bangalore (Bengaluru). The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) operates through a countrywide network of centers:

  • Sensors and payloads are developed at the Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad.
  • Satellites are designed, developed, assembled, and tested at the U R Rao Satellite Centre. Launch vehicles are developed at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram.
  • Launches take place at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Sriharikota Island, near Chennai.
  • The Master Control Facilities for geostationary satellite station keeping are located at Hassan and Bhopal. Reception and processing facilities for remote-sensing data are at the National Remote Sensing Centre in Hyderabad.
  • ISRO’s commercial arm is Antrix Corporation, which has its headquarters in Bangalore.
Aryabhata was India's first satellite and was designed for studies of X-ray astronomy, aeronomics and solar physics. Unfortunately, a power failure halted experiments after 4 days in orbit, and all signals from the spacecraft were lost after 5 days of operation.
Aryabhata was India’s first satellite and was designed for studies of X-ray astronomy, aeronomics and solar physics. Unfortunately, a power failure halted experiments after 4 days in orbit, and all signals from the spacecraft were lost after 5 days of operation.

ISRO’s first satellite, Aryabhata, was launched by the Soviet Union on April 19, 1975. Rohini, the first satellite to be placed in orbit by an Indian-made launch vehicle (the Satellite Launch Vehicle 3), was launched on July 18, 1980. ISRO has launched several space systems, including the Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system for telecommunication, television broadcasting, meteorology, and disaster warning and the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites for resource monitoring and management.

GSLV Mk III D1 being moved from assembly building to the launch pad
GSLV Mk III D1 being moved from assembly building to the launchpad

ISRO subsequently developed three other rockets: the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for putting satellites into polar orbit, the Geostationary Space Launch Vehicle (GSLV) for placing satellites into geostationary orbit, and a heavy-lift version of the GSLV called the GSLV Mark III or LVM. Those rockets launched communications satellites and Earth-observation satellites as well as missions to the Moon (Chandrayaan-1, 2008; Chandrayaan-2, 2019) and Mars (Mars Orbiter Mission, 2013). ISRO plans to put astronauts into space by 2022 on the new Gaganyaan spacecraft.

Mars Orbiter Mission Spacecraft (illustration)
Mars Orbiter Mission Spacecraft (illustration)

MOM or Mars Orbiter Mission is ISRO’s biggest achievement. Reaching Mars has not been easy for any country. To this date, India remains the only country to reach Mars on its first attempt. Not only this, they accomplished the mission on a tight budget of INR 450 crore, which was the lowest to date. India is the 4th country to reach the red planet after the U.S., Russia, and Europe.

ISRO’s programs have played a significant role in the socio-economic development of India and have supported both civilian and military domains in various aspects including disaster management, telemedicine and navigation, and reconnaissance missions. ISRO’s spin-off technologies also have founded many crucial innovations for India’s engineering and medical industries, the consolidated list can be found here.


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