The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bengaluru. Its vision is to "harness space technology for national development", while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration. The following are some of the major achievements of ISRO: Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System, 2016:
The seven-satellite system created India's very own satellite navigation system e- terrestrial and will provide services in marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, and navigation aide for drivers. Experts said an Indian-owned system will be particularly useful in times of war to gain positional accuracy.
In June, the ISRO launched 20 satellites in one mission, a record for the space agency. Apart from ISRO's own satellites and those built by university students in the country, the mission carried satellites from the US, Canada, Germany and Indonesia.
In May, ISRO successfully tested the Reusable Launch Vehicle - Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) that was built for Rs 95 crore. The winged flight vehicle, dubbed as India's space shuttle that glided back onto a virtual runway in the Bay of Bengal in a 10-minute mission was the first stage of a fully re-usable vehicle, seen as the future of low cost, reliable and on-demand space access.
Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D6), equipped with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS), successfully launched GSAT-6, the country's advanced communication satellite, into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). This was the second consecutively successful flight of GSLV with the indigenous CUS, which underscores the success of ISRO in mastering the highly complex cryogenic rocket propulsion technology. This launch also signifies a major step forward in achieving the self-reliance in launching 2 Ton class communication satellites into GTO.
ASTROSAT satellite, India's first dedicated astronomy satellite was successfully launched by PSLV-C30 on September 28, 2015. ASTROSAT enables simultaneous Ultraviolet to X-Ray observations to study Stars and Galaxies. It will also provide opportunity to task observations for the scientific community. ASTROSAT is a unique mission with combination of scientific instruments covering near ultra-violet, far ultra-violet and x-ray bands for multi wavelength observations. The ultra-violet imaging telescope of ASTROSAT has a best resolution of 1.8 arc second combined with large field of view. ASTROSAT is a vital contribution of India to the Global research community in the area of Astronomy.
India joined an exclusive global club when it successfully launched the Mars Orbiter Mission on a shoestring budget that was at least 10 times lower than a similar project by the US. The Rs 450-crore project revolved round the Red Planet and to collect data on Mars' atmosphere and mineral composition. India became the first country to successfully complete maiden Mars mission and also the fourth country to successfully venture into Mars. Since it penetrated the Martian orbit, Mangalyaan has sent several images of the red planet. Mars Orbiter Mission has been awarded �Space Pioneer Award� for science and engineering category for the year 2015 by the US based National Space Society. The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development has been awarded to ISRO in recognition of its path-breaking.
India's first unmanned lunar probe was launched almost a decade ago and was a landmark in India's space mission. ISRO joined an elite list of just six space organizations to send an orbiter to the moon. A Tricolor was hoisted on the moon but ISRO lost contact with Chandrayaan soon after.
It was developed in the 1990s and has become the Indian space mission's most reliable workhorse. The PSLV carried out its first mission in 1993 but its first successful outing was the next year. For the next 20 years, it launched various satellites for historic missions such as the Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan. PSLV remains a favorite among various organizations as a launch service provider and has launched over 40 satellites for 19 countries.
Known better by its popular name INSAT, the system is a network of satellites that facilitates communications and broadcasting across the south Asian region. The first satellite in the series was placed into orbit in 1983 and ushered in a revolution in India's television and radio broadcasting, telecommunications and meteorological sectors. Nine satellites are operational.
The Aryabhatta spacecraft that was named after the famous Indian astronomer was the country's first satellite. It marked a milestone in India's space programme because it was completely designed in the country and launched from a Russian facility in 1975.
No doubt, high degree of research is being carried out daily and ISRO will continue its efforts in making India proud.
- Neha P Asrani