ISRO: The long journey to space
Science

ISRO: The long journey to space 

19 Mar 2017 | By NewsBytes Desk

ISRO to launch GSLV Mark III

ISRO is likely to unveil the GSLV Mark III, India's most powerful launch vehicle, in 2 months.

Former programme director of ISRO, T.G.K. Murthy added that ISRO would also "launch four satellites from the Indian soil in the near future."

One of these will be the Aditya L1, to study the sun and climate change. ISRO will also launch the SAARC satellite this month.

Timeline
1962

Humble beginnings

The National Committee for Space Research was set-up in 1962 under the Department of Atomic Energy.

That year, construction on the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in Kerala began.

In 1963, the first rocket was launched from TERLS marking India's foray into space technology.

The first headquarters for India's space programme was St. Mary Magdelene church in Thiruvananthapuram.

1969

ISRO officially formed

ISRO officially formed

In 1969, the Indian Space Research Organization was formally created under the Department of Atomic Energy.

In 1971, the government constructed the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

In 1972, the Department of Space was established and ISRO was brought under its ambit.

Aryabhatta, India's first satellite was built and launched with Soviet assistance in 1975 from Kapustin Yar in Russia.

Fact

Bullock carts, bicycles and satellites

India's first experimental rocket was brought to the launch-pad on a bicycle and the first experimental communications satellite, the APPLE, was brought to the launch-pad on a bullock cart.

1980s

The SLV and India's first man in space

By the 1980s, India began experimenting on Satellite Launch Vehicle technology with assistance from USSR and successfully launched the SLV3 in July 1980.

India's first experimental communications-satellite the APPLE, was launched by the European Space Agency in 1981.

In 1984, India and USSR conducted the Indo-Soviet manned space mission, and the IAF's Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian to go to space.

Fact

5th nation to reach the moon

The successful launch of the Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 made India the 5th nation to reach the moon after the USA, the Soviet Union, Japan and the European Union.

28 Sep 1992

ISRO goes commercial with Antrix Corporation

ISRO goes commercial with Antrix Corporation

The Antrix Corporation was formed in 1992 and is the commercial wing of the ISRO.

It conducts launches for other nations, while ISRO only conducts launches of Indian satellites.

Antrix is a valuable source of foreign exchange and soft power projection for India's space faring capabilities.

Antrix began commercial operations in 1999 and has since launched 51 satellites for 20 countries.

Services

Support services and development programs

Since its inception in 1992, Antrix has generated almost $100 million in foreign exchange revenues.

Antrix provides countries with support services like establishment of ground stations and building sub-systems for spacecraft.

It has built two communications satellites for European customers, and provides tracking support for over 70 space missions of foreign clients.

It also provides d2h and telecommunication services in India and abroad.

15 Feb 2016

ISRO to privatize PSLV ops by 2020

ISRO Chairman, AS Kiran Kumar stated that the operation of ISRO's four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will be largely privatized by 2020.

He said that under the plan, the PSLV will be handled by an industrial consortium through the commercial arm of ISRO, Antrix Corporation.

The move seeks to boost capacity and increase the rate of launches from 12 to 18 annually.

15 Feb 2017

ISRO launches 104 satellites, at once

ISRO launches 104 satellites, at once

ISRO successfully launched a record 104 satellites on a single rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

ISRO used the XL variant of PSLV, which was used on Chandrayaan and the Mars Orbiter Mission. This will be a world-record for most satellites launched simultaneously.

The rocket is carrying the CARTOSAT-2 and 103 other satellites, 96 of which are from the US.

19 Mar 2017

ISRO to launch GSLV Mark III