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Indian Space Programme UPSC NOTE

 History of India’s space programme

  • The history of India's space program dates back to the early 1960s.

  • The Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was formed to coordinate the country's space activities. 

  • In 1969, INCOSPAR was replaced by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), 

  • ISRO has been responsible for India's remarkable achievements in space exploration

  • On November 21, 1963, a 715-kg Nike Apache rocket soared from a small launch pad on the beachhead at Thumba, a fishing village on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram

  • It rose 208 km into the sky and released a sodium vapour payload, which bedecked the twilight sky with an orange nebula.

  • Sixty years ago, the launch set India on a journey that saw two more milestones before the country became part of an elite international group

  • The first was the launch of India’s first truly indigenous rocket, RH 75  on February 22, 1969.

  • The second came on July 18, 1980, when its home-grown Satellite Launch Vehicle-3 (SLV-3) rocket, weighing 17 tonnes, placed the 35-kg Rohini satellite in orbit.

  • Now India in a small group of countries that could launch their satellites into orbit using their own launch vehicles. 

  • The only others were the Soviet Union, the U.S., the U.K., and France.

  • The rocket was mated with the payload in St. Mary Magdalene Church, Thumba, which had been taken over by the government. 

  • Vikram Sarabhai was present during the launch, along with E.V. Chitnis, P.D. Bhavsar, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and the French payload specialist Jacques Blamont. 

  • The SLV-3s led to the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicles (ASLVs), the Polar Satellite Vehicles (PSLVs), and the Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicles (GSLVs). 

  • India also has a variety of sounding rockets to study the upper atmosphere.

Major events and achievements 

  • 1975: India launches its first satellite, Aryabhata, into orbit. 

  • 1980: India becomes the 17th  country in the world to launch its own satellite into orbit, using its own rocket, the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III). 

  • 1988: India launches its first satellite for telecommunications, INSAT-1A. 

  • 1997: India launches its first satellite for remote sensing, IRS-1A. 

  • 2003: India surpasses the United States and Russia to become the world's leading launcher of commercial satellites.

  • 2008: India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe successfully orbits the Moon. 

  • 2014: India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) successfully enters orbit around Mars, making India the first Asian country to reach Mars

  • 2016: India successfully launches the AstroSat, a dedicated astronomy satellite.

  • 2017: India successfully launches the GSAT-9 satellite, which provides high-speed internet connectivity to rural India

  • 2018: India successfully launches the Cartosat-2S satellite, which provides high-resolution satellite imagery for a variety of applications. 

  • 2022: India successfully launches the PSLV-C53 rocket, carrying three satellites: the EOS-06, the AstroSat-2, and the CMS-01. 

Looking to the future, India's space program has ambitious plans,

  1. Sending a human astronaut to space by 2024.

  2. Launching a mission to Venus.

  3. Establishing a permanent human presence on the Moon.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Indian Space Programme UPSC NOTE
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