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ISRO: The Journey So Far


India  •  24 Aug, 2023  •  39,612 Views  •  ⭐ 5.0

Written by Anand Swami


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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has consistently made India proud with its remarkable achievements in space exploration. In many respects, it has become a significant player in the global space community, much like NASA, which has set numerous benchmarks in space research over the decades. From its inception to its recent endeavors in lunar exploration, the journey of ISRO showcases the organization's resilience, innovation, and ambition. Let's delve deep into the major milestones of ISRO’s outstanding journey.

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ISRO’s Entry into the Space Era: The Aryabhata Satellite

Image Credits: Telegraph India

In 1975, Aryabhata became India’s first satellite, marking the country's foray into space. Although its operation lasted just five days, Aryabhata set the foundation for future satellite missions. Named after the ancient Indian mathematician, the satellite showcased India's rich history meeting its futuristic ambitions. The launch was significant not just technologically but also as an emblem of national pride.

Remote Sensing Evolution: From Bhaskar to IRS-1A

Image Credits: ResearchGate

The Bhaskar-1 and Bhaskar-2 satellites, launched in the late 1970s, laid the groundwork for India's advancements in remote sensing. With the launch of IRS-1A in 1988, India took a quantum leap in Earth observation, offering imagery for various terrestrial applications. This ability to monitor land and water resources has transformed sectors ranging from agriculture to disaster management, making the technology an integral tool for sustainable development and environmental monitoring.

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Communication Revolution with INSAT

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Beginning with the experimental satellite APPLE in 1981, ISRO later developed the INSAT series. These geostationary satellites not only bolstered India's telecommunications but also meteorological and broadcasting capabilities. Over the years, the INSAT series has expanded and diversified, continually improving its range of services. Their coverage has proven essential during natural calamities, providing vital information and communication links.

Navigation Advancements with NavIC

Image Credits: Firstpost

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) or NavIC, launched in 2013, epitomizes India's commitment to enhancing transportation and personal mobility. With a constellation of seven satellites, NavIC aids various applications, from surveying to scientific research. Its accuracy has proved pivotal for fishermen, guiding them to potential fishing zones. Additionally, the system has significantly improved air and maritime traffic management across the region.

Rocket Evolution: From Sounding Rockets to GSLVs

Image Credits: ABP News

India's rocketry journey began in 1963 with the launch of the US Nike Apache ‘sounding rocket’. The nation's own SLV-3 made its debut in 1980. Despite initial setbacks, SLV-3’s success in 1980 was a turning point. From there, ISRO moved to more powerful rockets like PSLVs and GSLVs, with the latter boasting indigenous cryogenic engines and impressive payload capacities. These advancements underpin India's ability to launch heavier and more complex payloads. The technological leaps signify India's growing prominence in global space missions.

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Planetary Exploration: Reaching Beyond Our World

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Chandrayaan-1, launched in 2008, marked ISRO’s first foray into interstellar exploration. It was followed by Mangalyaan in 2013, making ISRO the fourth space agency to reach Mars. The Chandrayaan series continued with Chandrayaan-2 in 2019, showcasing ISRO's ambition and persistence in the face of challenges. These missions have provided invaluable scientific data, deepening our understanding of the cosmos. ISRO's efforts highlight the agency's ability to combine frugality with technological prowess.

The Recent Success: Chandrayaan-3's Soft Landing

Image Credits: Moneycontrol

With the Chandrayaan-3's soft landing near the lunar south pole, India etched its name as the fourth nation to achieve this feat. This success represents the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and indomitable spirit of the ISRO team. The landing site's choice, close to the lunar south pole, opens avenues for exploring water-ice and other volatiles. It paves the way for future lunar missions and strengthens India's position in the international space community.

Conclusion

ISRO's journey, punctuated with groundbreaking achievements, epitomizes India's commitment to space research and exploration. These milestones not only chart the trajectory of ISRO’s illustrious journey but also forecast a promising future. As India and the world at large celebrate ISRO's latest triumph with Chandrayaan-3, the sky is not the limit but just the beginning of this remarkable institution.

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