India’s space programme, which started way back in 1962, is marked by an enviable track record of highly safe and successful missions. Today, the country is self-reliant in space technology. The prestigious Mars mission and the launch of ASTROSAT, the country’s multi-wavelength space observatory, recently are the latest feathers in the cap of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), India’s premier space research agency.
Over the years, India’s space programme has made impressive progress through well-integrated, self-reliant plans. It is a matter of great pride that the country’s space programme has gone a long way in achieving its main objectives, namely, mass communication and education via satellite; survey and management of natural resources through remote sensing technology; environmental monitoring and meteorological forecasting; and development of indigenous satellites and satellite launch vehicles.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), set up in 1969 in Ahmedabad with Dr Vikram Sarabhai as chairman, is the apex body to provide guidelines, formulate policies and monitor implementation of the national space policy.
In the past, scientists, politicians, businessmen and many others had been very curious with the life outside of Earth. With the advanced technology, people have explored the possibility of actually stepping out of the Earth’s atmosphere to see how beautiful the universe is, leading to the birth of what we call space missions. Space missions, or spaceflights, have become a part of human achievement in the 20th century. The Soviet Union started sending space missions, which inspired other countries to explore the space as well. And, in line with that, here are the Top 10 countries with the most space presence. They are The United States, Russia, China, France, India, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Iran and Israel.
Though the ancient Indians were quite known for their knowledge about rocket science, it was only after the country’s independence that Indians were able to practise it, especially in exploring more of the space. Dr Vikram Sarabhai founded the Physical Research Laboratory, which was a great leap that catapulted India into one of the leading countries in terms of space presence. India’s biggest success was the launching of its first satellite into space. India has been providing a generous budget for space programmes to widen its knowledge on what the space really has to offer.
India’s first satellite, the Aryabhata, was launched by the Soviet Union’s Cosmos-3M launch vehicle on April 19, 1975. This was followed by the Rohini series of experimental satellites, which were built and launched indigenously. At present, ISRO operates a large number of Earth observation satellites.
(Read the full part of this article from the November Issue of Safety Messenger Mgazine 2015)