Space activities in India started in the sixties with the establishment of Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS). The efforts were consolidating with formation of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1969. The space programme got further fillip in June 1972, when the Government of India constituted the Space Commission and established the Department of Space (DOS). ISRO was brought under newly formed DOS in September 1972.
The primary objective of the Indian Space Programme is to achieve self-reliance in space technology and evolve application programmes to meet national developmental needs.
Over the last three decades, the space programme has taken important strides in meeting its objective. Two major operational space systems have been established - the Indian National Satellite (INSAT) for telecommunication, television broadcasting and meteorological services and Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS) system for resources monitoring and management.
Two launch vehicle, the Polar Satellite Launch vehicle (PSLV) primarily for launching remote sensing satellites into polar orbits and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) for launching communication and metrological satellites into 36000 km high Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) have been operationalized. Space application programmes with participation of user agencies have enabled the benefits of space programme to reach the grassroots level of society. Research in space science has contributed towards increased knowledge and understanding of several scientific phenomena. The capabilities built under space programme are used for commercial gains through international marketing of space hardware and services.
A bird's eye view of these developments is given in Table1 (Milestones) and Table 2 (Decade plan) below.
•PSLV-Cl1 successfully launches CHANDRAYAAN-1 from Sriharikota...