ISRO – Indian Space Research Organisation
India is a proud member of the illustrious league of space-faring nations. The country’s space program, ISRO, has come a long way since its inception in the early 1960s. Over the years, ISRO has made a name for itself with its remarkable achievements in space technology and exploration.
Most of ISRO’s achievements have come through indigenous efforts, making India self-reliant in space technology. ISRO has established a reputation for accomplishing missions at a fraction of the cost of other space agencies.
ISRO has also collaborated with several international space agencies, including NASA, ESA, and JAXA, for scientific research and development.
ISRO’s journey began with the establishment of the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) in 1962. The objective was to promote the development of space technology in India through scientific research and application. In 1972, the committee was reconstituted as the Department of Space (DOS), under the Prime Minister’s direct control.
- Launch vehicle technology: ISRO has developed a range of rockets, including the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), and the GSLV Mark-III, capable of launching heavy satellites into space. The PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) has completed more than 50 successful launches, making it one of the most reliable launch vehicles in the world.
- Mars Mission: In 2014, ISRO successfully completed a spacecraft called Mangalyaan, also known as the Mars Orbiter Mission, to study Mars’ atmosphere, geology, and climate. This mission made ISRO the first space agency in the world to successfully reach Mars on its first attempt. The mission was accomplished at a minimal cost and in record time.
- Moon Mission: Chandrayaan-1, India’s first lunar mission, launched in 2008, discovered water on the moon. Chandrayaan-2, launched in July 2019, was India’s first lunar landing attempt.
- Launching foreign satellites: ISRO has launched over 300 foreign satellites from more than 30 countries, earning valuable foreign exchange for India.
- Satellites for Communication: ISRO has developed and launched a series of satellites for communication purposes, including GSAT-6, GSAT-29, and GSAT-11, among others.
- Navigation: ISRO’s Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) provides accurate position information to users within Indian borders.
- Microsatellites: In 2019, ISRO launched 104 microsatellites in one go, breaking the world record for the most satellites launched in a single mission.
- Imaging: ISRO’s Cartosat series of satellites provides high-resolution images for civilian use, including border surveillance and urban planning.
- Earth Observation: ISRO’s Oceansat and Megha-Tropiques satellites enabled India to accurately predict major cyclones and weather conditions.
- Solar technology: ISRO’s Aditya mission aims to study the Sun’s corona, and solar winds and help establish India’s presence in the field of solar research.
- Space Observatory: India’s ASTROSAT satellite was launched in 2015, making it the country’s first dedicated scientific space observatory. It is designed to study the universe in different wavelengths of light, including X-rays, gamma rays, ultraviolet, and visible light.
- Space-based early warning system: India launched its GSAT-7A satellite in 2018, specifically designed to serve as a space-based early warning system for the Indian Air Force. The satellite provides real-time surveillance, intelligence, and communication capabilities to the air force, enabling early detection and response to potential threats.
- Navigation technology: NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) is India’s indigenous satellite-based navigation system, similar to the GPS system of the United States. NavIC is designed to provide accurate and reliable position, navigation, and timing services to Indian users.
- Remote sensing: ISRO’s remote sensing capabilities have been instrumental in monitoring natural resources, mapping, disaster management, and weather forecasting.
- Weather monitoring: India’s INSAT-3DR satellite, launched in 2016, is equipped with advanced sensors to provide accurate and up-to-date weather information to Indian meteorologists. The satellite’s high-resolution images and data enable detailed monitoring of weather patterns, helping in forecasting and disaster management.
ISRO’s achievements in space technology and exploration are a testament to India’s growing technological prowess. The organization has come a long way in its journey and shows no signs of slowing down. With plans to explore the Sun and establish a manned space mission, the future seems bright for India’s space program.