INDIA ENTERS SPACE AGE
Our space programme has entered the state-of-the-art era within a quarter of a century. Its primary objective is to have satellite-based communications, satellite-based resources survey and management, environmental monitoring and meteorological applications, development and operationalisation of indigenous satellite launch vehicles and associated ground segment for providing these space-based services.
India started its space plan in 1963 when it formed a body-Indian National Committee for Space Research. In 1969 it formed Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Space Commission and Department of Space (DOS) in 1972. The DOS carries its activities through ISRO, National Remote Sensing Agency, the National Physical Research Laboratory and other agencies.
Work is being done at various centers like Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, Trivandrum, ISRO Center, Bangalore, SAAR Center, Sriharikota (A.P.) Space Applications Center, Ahmedabad, etc ISRO and DOS have their headquarters at Bangalore.
The ISRO is making preparations to send an unmanned mission to the moon. ISRO, Bangalore, designed the first-ever satellite, Aryabhatta on April 19, 1975 and launched it from Soviet cosmodrome using Soviet rocket. Bhaskara-I was sent on June 7, 1979 again from Soviet cosmodrome. Bhaskara-II was sent up on November 20, 1981.
India entered the domestic satellite communications era with the launch of APPLE (Arianne Passenger Payload Experiment) on June 19, 1981.
The country developed its own satellite launch vehicle SLV-3 and it launched Rohini RS-D1 (a 38-pg one) on May 31, 1981, but it ended prematurely. RS-D2 was put into orbit on April 17, 1983 from SHAR center at Sriharikota.
The first communication satellite was launched on June 19, 1981 from French Guiana. INSAT-1A, the multipurpose satellite, was launched on April 10, 1983 from Cape Canaveral in the US. Since then we have launched INS AT-1B, INSAT-1C, INSAT-1D, INSAT-2A, INSAT-2B, 2C, 2D, 3B, and 3C.
On April 10 this year (2003) India has launched INSAT- 3A from Kourou in French Guyana. The satellite would boost the communication and meteorological services.