India’s space agency, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is counted among the top six Government space agencies in the world today.
Its vision to ‘harness space technology for national development’ has truly set very high standards for the rest of the world. ISRO has in fact put India in an elite club of nations with outstanding space technology advancements with more than 100 satellite launches.
• ISRO built India’s first satellite, Aryabhata, which was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975.
• In 1980, ‘Rohini’ became the first satellite to be placed in orbit by an Indian-made launch vehicle, SLV-3.
• ISRO sent a lunar orbiter, Chandrayaan- 1, on 22 October 2008 and a Mars orbiter, “Mars Orbiter Mission”, on 5 November 2013, which entered Mars orbit on 24 September 2014, making India the first nation to succeed on its first attempt to Mars, and ISRO the fourth space agency in the world as well as the first space agency in Asia to reach Mars orbit.
• On February 15, 2017, ISRO created history by lifting off 104 satellites (including 101 foreign) using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
• On 5th June 2017, India scored a double success, launching it’s latest – and heaviest till that time – communication satellite GSAT-19 with it’s brand new and heaviest rocket – the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle- Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) with a cryogenic engine. The 640-tonne GSLV Mk III, also called ‘fat boy’, weights equal to 200 full-grown Asian elephants.
• India’s GSAT-29 communication satellite was successfully launched by the second developmental flight of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MarkIII (GSLV MkIII-D2) on 14 November 2018.
• India’s most powerful and advanced communication satellite GSAT-11 was successfully launched on 6 December 2018. GSAT-11 is the next generation high throughput communication satellite that will play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country. The satellite, weighing 5,854 kg, is the heaviest Indian-made equipment that the ISRO put into its orbit.
• ISRO’s aims at launching India’s first human mission by 2022.
Indian Space Research Organization was formed in 1969 to provide the space-based services and to develop the technologies to achieve the same independently. ISRO maintains one of the largest fleet of communication satellites (INSAT) and remote sensing (IRS) satellites, that cater to the ever-growing demand for fast and reliable communication and earth observation respectively.
ISRO develops and delivers application-specific satellite products and tools: broadcasts, communications, weather forecasts, disaster management tools, Geographic Information Systems, cartography, navigation, telemedicine, dedicated distance education satellites being some of them.