India's space programme
uvj at vsnl.com
Thu May 3 20:03:23 MDT 2001
19 April 2001
38 years on, India could now aim for the moon
NEW DELHI: India's space programme has made tremendous progress since the
launch of the first indigenous sounding rocket in November 1963, with
researchers currently planning a mission to the moon, a project that was
once described as a "fantasy" by Vikram Sarabhai, the father of the space
"We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced
nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned
space-flight. But we are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role
nationally, and in the community of nations, we must be second to none in
the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and
society," Sarabhai once said.
India has moved closer to achieving Sarabhai's dream of self-reliance in
space through the development of the geo-synchronous satellite launch
vehicle (GSLV). Besides the moon mission, India's space program also intends
to launch cartographic satellites with cameras having a resolution of 2.5
meters beginning 2002-03. These satellites would generate data comparable to
some of the best in the world. Work is also progressing on indigenous
cryogenic engines to replace the Russian-supplied motors used in the GSLV
The following are some milestones in India's space programme:
1962 - The Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) is formed
by the Department of Atomic Energy.
1963 - First sounding rocket is launched from Thumba November 21
1969 - Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is formed under the
Department of Atomic Energy.
1972 - Space Commission and Department of Space set up.
1975 - First Indian Satellite, Aryabhata, is launched by a Soviet rocket
1979 - Bhaskara-I, an experimental satellite for earth observations, is
launched June 7 by a Soviet rocket. First experimental launch of satellite
launch vehicle-3 (SLV-3) with Rohini satellite on board August 10. The
satellite could not be placed in orbit.
1980 - Second experimental launch of SLV-3. Rohini satellite is successfully
placed in orbit July 18.
1981 - First developmental launch of SLV-3. RS-D1 satellite is placed in
orbit May 31. APPLE, an experimental geo-stationary communication satellite
is successfully launched June 19 on a European Ariane rocket. Bhaskara-II is
launched November 20 by a Soviet rocket.
1982 - Indian National Satellite-1A (INSAT-1A) is launched on a U.S. Delta
rocket April 10. Satellite is deactivated September 6, 1982.
1983 - Second developmental launch of SLV-3. RS-D2 is placed in orbit April
17. INSAT-1B is launched August 30 by a U.S. space shuttle.
1984 - Indo-Soviet manned space mission.
1987 - First developmental launch of augmented satellite launch vehicle
(ASLV) with SROSS-1 satellite on board March 24. The satellite could not be
placed in orbit.
1988 - Launch of first operational Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS-1A)
March 17. INSAT-1C satellite is launched July 21 by a European Ariane
rocket. Satellite is abandoned in November 1989. Second developmental launch
of the ASLV with SROSS-2 on board July 13. The satellite could not be placed
1990 - INSAT-1D is launched June 12 by U.S. Delta rocket.
1991 - Launch of second operational Remote Sensing satellite, IRS-1B August
1992 - Third developmental launch of ASLV with SROSS-C on board May 20.
Satellite is placed in orbit. INSAT-2A, the first satellite of the
indigenously built second-generation INSAT series, is launched July 10 by
European Ariane rocket.
1993 - INSAT-2B is launched July 23 by Ariane rocket. First developmental
launch of the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) with IRS-1E on board
September 20. The satellite could not be placed in orbit.
1994 - Fourth developmental launch of ASLV with SROSS-C2 on board May 4. The
satellite is placed in orbit. Second developmental launch of PSLV with
IRS-P2 on board October 15. Satellite is successfully placed in polar
1995 - INSAT-2C is launched December 7. Launch of third operational Indian
Remote Sensing Satellite, IRS-1C, December 28.
1996 - Third developmental launch of PSLV with IRS-P3 on board March 21.
1997 - INSAT-2D is launched June 4. Becomes inoperable on October 4. First
operational launch of PSLV with IRS-1D on board September 29. Satellite is
placed in orbit.
1999 - INSAT-2E, the last satellite in the INSAT-2 series, launched by
European Ariane rocket April 3. IRS-P4 or Oceansat is launched by PSLV-C2
along with Korean KITSAT-3 and German DLR-TUBSAT from Sriharikota May 26.
2000 - INSAT-3B, the first satellite in the third generation INSAT-3 series,
is launched by European Ariane rocket March 22. (IANS)
For reprint rights:Times Syndication Service
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