Yojana – Jan 2021

Why is the Indian Space programme important?

1. The Indian space programme has come a long way in the 57 years since its inception.

2. Today ISRO has sophisticated launch stations, tracking centres, R&D facilities and manufacturing and data processing units.

3. It is engaged in highly sophisticated and complex technological activities

What is the progress of India so far in the space programme?

The 1960s

1. The Indian space programme began modestly in 1962 with the formation of the Indian Committee on Space Research (INCOSPAR) under the Department of Atomic Energy.

2. A Nike-Apache sounding rocket was launched in 1963 from Thumba, near Thiruvananthapuram. Later, Thumba became an international sounding rocket launching facility.

3. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was formed in 1969. Today ISRO’s establishments are functioning in many parts of the country with each concentrating on a specific area.

4. The country’s public as well as private sector industries and academic institutions are playing a crucial role in the space programme.

The 1970s

The 70s were the learning phase during which many experimental satellites were built.

2. India’s first satellite Aryabhatta was launched in 1975.

3. Bhaskar 1 and 2 provided a rich experience to build complex operational remote sensing satellites.

4. Today, India is a world leader in the satellite-based remote sensing area.

5. APPLE, India’s first experimental communication satellite was launched by the European Ariane Rocket in 1981.

6. ISRO conducted 2 experiments in the 1970s – SITE and STEP – for television broadcasting and telecommunications.

7. ISRO developed its first Satellite Launch Vehicle SLV-3 in the 1970s which had its first successful launch in 1980.

The 1980s

1. INSAT – 1 B launched in 1983, demonstrated India’s ability in the field of telecommunications, TV broadcasting and weather forecasting. Today, communication satellites are an integral part of the country’s economic infrastructure.

2. IRS-1 A launched in 1988 was India’s first operational remote sensing satellite.

The 1990s

1. ISRO began building INSAT-2 series of multipurpose satellites indigenously.

2. Remote sensing satellites were used for tasks like crop yield estimation, groundwater and mineral prospecting, forest survey, etc.

How is India moving forward in the space sector?

1. Today, India has a fleet of advanced remote sensing satellites dedicated to cartography, resource survey, etc.

2. Polar orbit-based observation satellites and weather watching satellites (INSAT-3D) are circling the Earth.

3. The INSAT system provides services to telecommunications, TV broadcasting, radio networking, disaster warning, etc.

4. Satellites like GSAT-11, GSAT 29 are supporting the “Digital India” campaign and bridge the digital divide.

5. ISRO has developed 5 launch vehicles (SLV-3, ASLV, PSLV, GSLV and GSLV Mk III).

6. It has launched more than 300 foreign satellites till date.

7. It has mastered the technology of rockets that use solid, liquid as well as cryogenic propellants.

8. GSLV Mk II is the fourth generation launch vehicle having the cryogenic upper stage.

9. GSLV Mk III, India’s fifth-generation launch vehicle, injected the Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) in 2014.

10. The mission Space Capsule Recovery Experiment -I launched by PSLV in 2007 proved the success of several technologies necessary for reusable launch vehicles and space flight.

11. Missions Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission, Astrosat and Chandrayaan-2 have caught the attention of the world.

12. The Mars Orbiter Mission made ISRO the fourth space agency to successfully send a spacecraft in Mars orbit.

13. Astrosat aims at studying celestial sources in X-ray, optical and UV spectral bands.

14. Chandrayaan-2 mission launched in 2019 placed its orbiter in the intended orbit.

15. Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) has been successfully established and operationalised to provide highly accurate Position, Navigation and Time information to users in India and its surroundings.

16. Through GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN), ISRO is providing Satellite-based Navigation services.

17. The “Gaganyaan Programme” is a path towards a new age of human space exploration.

Where is India’s focus on the future development of the space sector?

1. The Indian space programme has many challenges ahead.

2. Space missions like Chandrayaan-3 and Mission to Venus are in progress.

3. There are plans to build heavier and more capable satellites.

4. Indian space programme implemented by ISRO has enabled various frontier areas of space research besides facilitating the country’s overall development and technological advancement.

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