India decided to go to space when Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was set up by the Government of India in 1962. With the visionary Dr Vikram Sarabhai at its helm, INCOSPAR set up the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in Thiruvananthapuram for upper atmospheric research.
Indian Space Research Organisation, formed in 1969, superseded the erstwhile INCOSPAR. Vikram Sarabhai, having identified the role and importance of space technology in a Nation's development, provided ISRO the necessary direction to function as an agent of development. ISRO then embarked on its mission to provide the Nation space based services and to develop the technologies to achieve the same independently.
Throughout the years, ISRO has upheld its mission of bringing space to the service of the common man, to the service of the Nation. In the process, it has become one of the six largest space agencies in the world. ISRO maintains one of the largest fleet of communication satellites (INSAT) and remote sensing (IRS) satellites, that cater to the ever growing demand for fast and reliable communication and earth observation respectively. ISRO develops and delivers application specific satellite products and tools to the Nation: broadcasts, communications, weather forecasts, disaster management tools, Geographic Information Systems, cartography, navigation, telemedicine, dedicated distance education satellites being some of them.
To achieve complete self reliance in terms of these applications, it was essential to develop cost efficient and reliable launch systems, which took shape in the form of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The famed PSLV went on to become a favoured carrier for satellites of various countries due to its reliability and cost efficiency, promoting unprecedented international collaboration. The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) was developed keeping in mind the heavier and more demanding Geosynchronous communication satellites.
Apart from technological capability, ISRO has also contributed to science and science education in the country. Various dedicated research centres and autonomous institutions for remote sensing, astronomy and astrophysics, atmospheric sciences and space sciences in general function under the aegis of Department of Space. ISRO's own Lunar and interplanetary missions along with other scientific projects encourage and promote science education, apart from providing valuable data to the scientific community which in turn enriches science.
Future readiness is the key to maintaining an edge in technology and ISRO endeavours to optimise and enhance its technologies as the needs and ambitions of the country evolve. Thus, ISRO is moving forward with the development of heavy lift launchers, human spaceflight projects, reusable launch vehicles, semi-cryogenic engines, single and two stage to orbit (SSTO and TSTO) vehicles, development and use of composite materials for space applications etc. Know more about ISRO's genesis
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Indian space agency, founded in 1969 to develop an independent Indian space program. Its headquarters are in Bangalore (Bengaluru). Its chief executive is a chairman, who is also chairman of the Indian government’s Space Commission and the secretary of the Department of Space.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) operates through a countrywide network of centres. Sensors and payloads are developed at the Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad. Satellites are designed, developed, assembled, and tested at the ISRO Satellite Centre in Bangalore. Launch vehicles are developed at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram. Launches take place at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Sriharikota Island, near Chennai. The Master Control Facilities for geostationary satellite station keeping are located at Hassan and Bhopal. Reception and processing facilities for remote-sensing data are at the National Remote Sensing Centre in Hyderabad. ISRO’s commercial arm is Antrix Corporation, which has its headquarters in Bangalore.
ISRO’s first satellite, Aryabhata, was launched by the Soviet Union on April 19, 1975. Rohini, the first satellite to be placed in orbit by an Indian-made launch vehicle (the Satellite Launch Vehicle 3), was launched on July 18, 1980. ISRO has launched several space systems, including the Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system for telecommunication, television broadcasting, meteorology, and disaster warning and the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites for resource monitoring and management. The first INSAT was launched in 1988, and the program expanded to include geosynchronous satellites called GSAT. The first IRS satellite was also launched in 1988, and the program developed more-specialized satellites, including the Radar Imaging Satellite-1 (RISAT-1, launched in 2012) and the Satellite with Argos and Altika (SARAL, launched in 2013), a joint Indian-French mission that measures ocean wave heights. ISRO subsequently developed three other rockets: the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for putting satellites into polar orbit, the Geostationary Space Launch Vehicle (GSLV) for placing satellites into geostationary orbit, and a heavy-lift version of the GSLV called the GSLV Mark III or LVM. Those rockets launched communications satellites, Earth-observation satellites, and, in 2008, Chandrayaan-1, India’s first mission to the Moon. ISRO plans to put astronauts into orbit in 2021.