The Indian space program began establishing itself with the launch of sounding rockets, which was complimented by India's geographical proximity to the equator. These were launched from the newly-established ThumbaEquatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS)
, built near Thiruvananthapuram in southern Kerala. Initially, American sounding rockets like the Nike-Apache, and French sounding rockets like the Centaure, were fired and used for studying the upper atmospheric electrojet, which until then had only been studied from ship-based sounding rocket launches in the Pacific Ocean. These were soon followed by British and Russian rockets. However, since day one, the space program had grand ambitions of developing indigenous technology and India soon began developing its own sounding rockets, using solid propellants -these were called the Rohini
family of sounding rockets.As the Indian Rohini program continued to launch sounding rockets of greater size and complexity, the space program was expanded and eventuallygiven its own government department, separate from the Department of Atomic Energy. In 1969 the Indian
Space Research Organization(ISRO)
was created from the Indian National Committee for Space
program under the DAE, continued under the Space Commission and finally the Department of Space, created in June of 1972. (1970-1980)
In the 1960s, Sarabhai had taken part in an early study with NASA regarding the feasibility of using satellites for applications as wide as direct television broadcasting, and this study had found that it was the most economical way of transmitting such broadcasts. Having recognized the benefits that satellites could bring to India from the very start, Sarabhai and the ISRO set about designing and creating an independent launch vehicle, capable of launching into orbit, and providing the valuable experience needed for the construction of larger launch vehicles... [continues]
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