ISRO: Indian Space Research Organisation (Bharatiya Antariksha Anusandhana Sangathana)
A bright and proud feather in India’s cap.
It is a space research agency under the Department of Space of Government of India and its vision is to “harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration”
It was established in 1962, through the efforts of visionary Vikram Sarabhai. It has scaled many milestones till now and has placed India firmly in the world scene of space research. Our dear former President Late Shri A.P.J.Abdul Kalam too once headed this organisation and took it to further heights.
Some people argue that a country like India which is still struggling with poverty and hunger does not need a space program. But I beg to differ. The launching of our own communication satellites has revolutionised the country by bringing the latest technology to the hands of every common man. The space program has helped to develop the advanced weather systems that help every farmer or fisherman out there. ISRO’s program is space research for India’s development. Don’t let anyone else tell you different.
When ISRO built its first satellite Aryabhata, it had to use the launcher of Soviet Union to send it to space. But now it has grown to launch satellites for the entire world! We used to pay to get our satellites launched and now we are charging other countries to launch theirs!
There are many feathers in the ISRO cap. Here are a few:
- In 1980, ISRO placed Rohini into orbit using an indigenous launch vehicle.
- ISRO developed GSLV, the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle and successfully several satellites in geosynchronous orbits.
- ISRO has developed and placed many communication satellites in orbit around the Earth, that has resulted in the overall communication network development of the country.
- In 2008, India sent its first mission to moon, Chandrayaan I.
- In 2014, the most ambitious Mangalyaan I was successfully completed. It is a mission to Mars. India is the only country in the world to have done so successfully in its first attempt and only the fourth country to do so. And another aspect of this mission is that it is by far the cheapest mission to Mars by any other country. In fact, the cost of Mangalyaan is cheaper than the making of the movie Gravity! Hilarious, right!
- The use of indigenous cryogenic engine in the launch of GSAT in 2014 is a great step forward in space development for India.
- In 2016, ISRO set a record of launching 20 satellites in a single payload. One of these satellites was for Google.
- in 2017, ISRO bet its own world record by launching 104 satellites on a single rocket. It was indeed a very proud moment for all of us. I had written a post on this a year back. Read all about it here. The satellites launched here belong to other countries including USA.
- In 2017, ISRO successfully launched its heaviest rocket yet the PSLV-C37. This launch makes ISRO capable of launching 4 ton heavy satellites.
ISRO has many ambitious programs lined ahead, including making reusable launch vehicles, manned missions, missions to Venus, Jupiter etc, landing on the moon and Mars too, a mission to the Sun and so much more. Already the announcement of Chandrayaan II, second mission to moon has been announced.
Of course, there have been setbacks on the way, but those are just stepping stones to fly higher.
More power to ISRO.