India’s Space Programme

Topics: Indian Space Research Organisation, Satellite, Spacecraft propulsion Pages: 5 (1854 words) Published: August 26, 2013
Twenty first day of November, 1963 may be remembered as a red letter day in the history of India’s space programme. This was the day when first rocket from India was launched. It was also the day when Thumba Equatorial Launching station came into operation. The rocket was assembled in a nearby church which had been acquired for building the said station. The first India made rocket lifted from Thumba in 1969. This 10 kg pencil rocket had propellants made in India and it was assembled in church building which is now a museum of space memorabilia. But it was the VSSC (Vikram Sarabhai Space Center) built SLV-3 which lifted India into the exclusive club of space faring nations on 18th July, 1980 by putting into orbit the 35 kg Rohini satellite. United States of America, Russia, Great Britain, France, Japan and China were the other members. Since then there is no looking bad. India’s space research was born on the VSSC campus. It has groups of specialists doing research in every field of rocketry including aerospace, aerodynamics, propulsion, avionics, thermo control structures and propellants. The aerospace group plays a key role in building launch vehicles. Formally Indian’s launch programme was launched in 1972 when Space Commission and department of space were set up. The main objective of the programme was to provide space based services in spheres of communication, metrology, resources survey and management, develop satellites and launch vehicles and associated ground system. Our space programme can be divided into two parts: (i) The Satellite Programme, and (ii) The Launch Programme.

There are five space centers where these programmes are carried on (i) Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) is situated in Thumba near Tiruvanthpuram in Kerela on 1000 acre campus. It is the centre for launch vehicle development, rocket research and planning and execution of launch vehicle development projects of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). Here rocket engineers freely discuss ISRO’s moon mission, the satellite that will be recovered from space, the GSLV mark III or the Indian version of space shuttle. (ii) ISRO Internal Systems Unit (IISU) is located in Thiuvanthpuram (Kerela). Here the work of designing and development of inertial systems for both satellites and launch vehicles in carried on. (iii) (iii) Space Application Centre (SAC) is located in Ahmedabad (Gujarat). It is the centre for research and development for conceiving, organizing and building systems for practical applications of space technology. The major fields of activity include satellite communications remote sensing and meteorology. (iv) (iv) Liquid propulsion System Center (LPSC). This programme is carried on in Bangalore, Triuvanthpuram and Mahendregiri (Tamil Nadu). (v) (v) SHAR center is situated at Shriharikota on the East coast of Andhra Pradesh and is the main Launch centre of ISRO. Large scale production of solid rocket popellent and ground testing of solid fueled rocket stages of launch vehicles is also carried over here. Space craft engineers busy in building satellites which will make India self sufficient in space technology. The ISAC built INSA-3 E has already been airlifted to French Guiana where an Ariane-5 vehicle is going to put it into orbit. Commissioned in 1983 INSAT’s comprising of six space craft’s from the largest communication satellite systems in Asia-pacific region. Indigenization began with INSAT-2 series. INSAT 2-A was intended to be simply a test space craft but it worked so well that it was made into an operational satellite. ISRO’s approach was mission-oriented which was born out of the total vision of Vikram Sarabhai to apply space technology for the benefit of common man. ISRO is now implementing a space programme to raise the standard of living of the people through new and novice applications such as tele-medicine, tele-education and e-government. It is a holistic approach. Central to this approach are ISRO’s satellite and...
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