Current Affairs

The History of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)


The Indian Space Programme began in 1962. In 1969, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was set up with headquarters in Bangalore. The Space Commission was established in 1972. In 1975, India launched its first satellite, Aryabhata, and thus entered the space age.


Aryabhatta :  India launched its first experimental satellite on April 19, 1975 from a Soviet cosmodrome to perform scientific x-ray experiments in space and send back data to earth.

Bhaskara-I : India’s second 436 kg satellite was launched on June 7, 1979 to collect information on India’s land, water,  forest and ocean resources.

SLV Mission (Satellite Launch  Vehicle) :  India’s first satellite  launch  vehicle  SLV-3  was  successfully launched on July 18, 1980 from Sriharikota.

Rohini :: Rohini satellite was put into orbit on April 17, 1983 using SLV-3 and   this    completed    the    planned    developmental flights  of the  SLV-3.

1984 : Rakesh  Sharma  became  the  first  Indian  to travel in space.

ASLV  :  First develomental launch of  ASLV  but unsuccessful.

Apple (Ariane Passenger Payload Experiment) : India’s first experimental, geostationary satellite weighing 673 kg was launched on June 19, 1981.

Bhaskara-II : India’s second satellite for earth observation was launched on November 20, 1981.

IRS Mission (Indian Remote Sensing Satellite) 

IRS-1A  :: IRS-1A  India’s first IRS was launched on March 17, 1988 for monitoring and management of natural resources.

IRS-1B  ::  IRS-1B   India’s  second  remote  sensing  satellite  was launched on  August  29,  1991  to  replace IRS-1A which was nearing the end  of  its  life.
1992 :  ASLV  (Augmented Satellite Launch  Vehicle) successfully launched from Sriharikota on May 20. It is designed to augment indigenous satellite launching capability and put 150 kg class satellite into near earth orbit. Insat-2A was hurled into space from Kourou on July 10.
1993 :  Insat-2B second indigenously fabricated multipurpose satellite placed in sapce, by Ariane rocket from Kourou on July 23.

IRSIC : The  world’s  most  advanced remote sensing satellite, IRS-1C,  built  by  Indian  Scientists, was put into orbit successfully by  a   Russian  rocket  from  the Baikonur cosmodrome on December 28, 1995.
ASLV  :: ASLV is the forerunner of the more powerful Polar Satellite Launch   Vehicle  (PSLV)  and  the  Geosynchronous Launch   Vehicle  (GSLV).    The   first   development  flight of  the  PSLV,  called PSLV-D1, on September 20, 1993, failed. However, according to ISRO it was a partial success which established India’s capabilities in liquid propulsion system.
SROSS-III (Stretched Rohini Satellite Series) : After failure of two ASLV launches, SROSS-III, a 105 kg satellite was successfully placed in a 450 km high orbit via the launching of  ASLV-D3, on May 20, 1992 though th elifespan of the satellite was only 55 days. The fourth development flight was made on May 4, 1994 and SROSSC4 was successfully placed into the near earth orbits from Sriharikota.
PSLV-D3  :: PSLV-D3  was successfully launched in 1996 from Sriharikota, placing the 922-kg. Indian remote sensing satellite, IRS-P3, into orbit.  With this, India has entered the US-dominated global market for satellite launch vehicles.
INSAT Mission (Indian National Satellite System) : For domestic telecommunication, earth observation and nationwide radio and TV broadcasting, India launched four satellites in the INSAT-1 series, viz.
  • INSAT-1A On April 10, 1982-it failed prematurely. 
  • INSAT-1B On August 30, 1983-it was successful. 
  • INSAT-1C On July 22, 1988-it became redundant in 1989. 
  • INSAT-1D On July 17, 1990-it was successful and completed the mission.

INSAT-2 Project

INSAT-2A  India’s first indigenously built second generation satellite, it was launched on July 10, 1992. It is equipped with 50 per cent more  capacity than the INSAT series.

INSAT-2B  :: INSAT-2B  India’s second indigenously built satellite. It was launched by the European Space Agency from Kourou, French Guiena on July 23, 1993. INSAT-2B has taken the place of  

INSAT-1B:  whose functioning ended following the completion of its ten-year life. The fourth development flight of ASLV-4 was made on May 4, 1994 and the SROSS-C4 was successfully placed into the near earth orbit from Sriharikota.

Insat-2D  ::  Insat-2D  launched Ariane Rocket from Kourou on June 4, 1997 only four months later failed – disrupted communication had been abandoned in October 97 after efforts to solvage the satellite.
IRS-1D :: IRS-1D satellite launched in 1997 incorporate advanced features such as teh LISS-III camera, a Panchromatic Camera (PAN) and a wide field (wifs) enabling better spectrol resolutions – enhancing the application pottential of the satellite.

PSLV-D4  :: PSLV-D4 placed IRS-1D in orbit on October 7, 1997. The first developmental launch of the GSLV was scheduled in 1997-98, using a Russian Cryogenic Engine.

Insat-2E  :  Satellite  was  placed  in  space on April 3, 1999. PSLVC2 was launched on May 26 with 3 satellites on board.

Insat-3B  :  Insat-3B  was launched on March 22, 2000.

ISRO Launched Cryogenic Engine : On February 16, 2000,  the  first  cryogenic  engine  was  ignited at the Liquid propulsino Systems Centre at Mahendragiri is Tamil Nadu.

GSLV-D1 : This was successfully launched on April 18, 2001 from Sriharikota.

PSLV-C3 : This was launched from Sriharikota on October 22, 2001. Three satellites were put into the orbit of the earth namely (a) TES (India); (b) BIRD (Germany); (c) PROBA (Belgium).

INSAT-3C :  ISRO built Satellite was launched by ARIANE-4  from  Kourou,  French  Guyana  on  January 24, 2002.

KALPANA-1 : To honour the memory of Kalpana Chawla, Prime Minister Mr.Vajpayee renamed METSAT,  India’s first metorological research satellite launched by ISRO on September 22, 2002.

GSAT-2 : The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched India’s second GeoStationary Satellite (GSAT-2) on May 8, 2003, from Satish Dhawan  Space Centre – SHAR (SDSC – SHAR) at Sriharikota, 100 kms from Chennai. Kalpana Chawla

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