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Evolution of the indian space age

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  • 1. Pranabjyoti Das Saturday, November 23, 2013 1
  • 2. Humble Beginnings India began its tryst with space just over a decade after Independence. In 1962, the then Indian Government established the Indian National Committee on Space Research (INCOSPAR). Note that this was just five years after the US-Russia space race began in 1957 when Russia launched the world's first spacecraft, the Sputnik -I. Therefore we can proudly claim that India's space program is amongst the worlds oldest. The INCOSPAR later went on to become Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which was incorporated in 1969 - the same year, man landed on the moon! Pranabjyoti Das Saturday, November 23, 2013 2
  • 3. Humble Beginnings India began its tryst with space just over a decade after Independence. Pranabjyoti Das Saturday, November 23, 2013 3
  • 4. In 1962, the then Indian Government established the Indian National Committee on Space Research (INCOSPAR). Note that this was just five years after the US-Russia space race began in 1957 when Russia launched the world's first spacecraft, the Sputnik -I. Therefore we can proudly claim that India's space program is amongst the worlds oldest. The INCOSPAR later went on to become Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which was incorporated in 1969 - the same year, man landed on the moon ! Pranabjyoti Das Saturday, November 23, 2013 4
  • 5. Even before the ISRO was set up, India had already built the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in Kerala under the aegis of the INCOSPAR. This was way back in 1963. This is largely thought to be the beginning of the Indian space program. A decade later, in 1972, India created the Department of Space (DOS), of which ISRO was made the research and development wing. In just six years since the establishment of ISRO, the very first satellite made by India was up in space. Known as the Aryabhatta, after the great Indian mathematician, it was launched with Russian help (then U.S.S.R). As for the Aryabhatta, it managed to function only for four days after its launch - a failure - but a start nevertheless ! Pranabjyoti Das Saturday, November 23, 2013 5
  • 6. The next launch came in the form of the Bhaskara 1 in 1979. Around the same time, India took its first steps in developing its own launch vehicles, so that it could make and launch spacecrafts without foreign help. Three decades later, ISRO is amongst the most successful space agencies and one of the three large space agencies in Asia - the other two being China's CNSA and Japan's JAXA. Space for Development While US and Russia were in a space race to prove who was the best, India, right from the beginning, concentrated on space research that would eventually prove beneficial to the people of India. In fact, Vikram Sarabhai, the pioneer of the Indian space program, had showed great zeal in "convincing" the Indian Government how India could benefit from a space program. Little is known about the fact that he leased an American satellite using which he showcased how India could use satellites to broadcast health and educational television programs to remote villages of India. Later, he showcased the use of satellites for other purposes like remote sensing education and even national security. It was not until Chandrayaan I that India turned its attention to a mission dedicated to pure science Pranabjyoti Das Saturday, November 23, 2013 6
  • 7. Pranabjyoti Das Saturday, November 23, 2013 7
  • 8. In spite of all these unfavourable conditions, a dedicated team of scientists - including Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam - worked on the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) project that aimed to fulfill India's dream of having its own launch vehicle. It wasn't until 1980, when India managed to send to space its own indigenously built satellite, the Rohini, on an Indian made launch vehicle that India managed to achieve its dream. Just a year prior to that, in 1979, the first launch of the SLV using a Rohini Technology payload ended in failure. In 1983, India successfully placed the Rohini 3 in orbit - again using its own SLV rocket. The Rohini was instrumental in increasing the television coverage in the country. It was able to increase the extent of coverage from a mere 20% to 70% in a matter of just over two years. With the success of the SLV, ISRO turned its attention to making even larger and superior launch vehicles. This resulted in the arrival of the Asynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) in 1987. Pranabjyoti Das Saturday, November 23, 2013 8
  • 9. The first launch of the ASLV was a disaster. It did not place the SCROSS satellite it was carrying in to orbit. Undeterred, ISRO went for a second launch - which also ended in failure. The third and the fourth launches, however, were successful. The ASLV was replaced by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The PSLV, since its first flight back in 1993 has gone on to become the most successful rockets made by the country. Apart from placing Indian satellites in orbit, the PSLV is credited with launching satellites for other countries as well Pranabjyoti Das Saturday, November 23, 2013 9
  • 10. While the PSLV still continues to do duty for the country, it was clear that India needed a bigger, more powerful vehicle for more complex missions in the future. This forced the designers and the engineers to go back to the drawing board. They came up with what is now known as the Geo Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). The GSLV was first introduced in 2001 and had a few successful test and developmental fights. However, the last three launches were unsuccessful. The latest launch happened earlier this month and used India's own Cryogenic engines, which did not perform as expected. Pranabjyoti Das Saturday, November 23, 2013 10
  • 11. Chandrayaan ,which event pertaining to the ISRO has done the country proud; his answer would most likely be the Chandrayaan mission of 2008. Chandrayaan I was India's first mission to the moon and the most important mission to the moon by any country after the last of the Apollo spacecrafts relayed data back to earth from the moon - back in the 70s. There were minor missions from other countries since the late 70s but Chandrayaan was the first "global" mission that India had participated in and would later go on to become one of the most important lunar missions in human history. Pranabjyoti Das Saturday, November 23, 2013 11
  • 12. The first sounding rocket was launched on November 21 from TERLS 1969 - Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was created 1975 - Aryabhatta, the first Indian space satellite, was launched for India on April 19 1979 Bhaskara-I, an experimental satellite for earth observations, launched on June 7 1979 - The first experimental launch of an SLV-3 rocket -Failed 1980 India successfully launched its own Rohini-1 satellite on July 18 on a Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) rocket 1984 Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma, a 35-year-old Indian Air Force pilot, was launched to space along with two Soviet cosmonauts aboard Soyuz T-11 -making him the first Indian in space. 1987 - The first developmental launch of a larger Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) rocket on March 24 takes place - Failure. 1992 - The Indian-built INSAT-2 geostationary communications and meteorological satellite launched 1993 - The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) makes its debut 2001 -- The first launch of a still larger Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) rocket was successful on April 18. 2008 Chandrayaan Mission to the moon successful Pranabjyoti Das Saturday, November 23, 2013 12