SPACE EXPLORATION BY ISRO
Ancient Indians were known to have knowledge about rocket science, it is used during wars. After independence, India has had an impressive array of achievements in the scientific and technological fields. Special mention must be made of the arena of space. It was Dr. Vikram Sarabhai who founded the Physical lab in Ahmedabad on Veterans’ Day, 1947. This was the primary step that India took towards becoming an area power.
The foundation of space research in India was laid with the establishment of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in 1969. Space programs are now used in the areas of communication, broadcasting, meteorology, disaster management, etc. ISRO’s first attempt at developing a satellite launch vehicle was a failure in 1979.
However, success was achieved with the developmental flight of SLV – 3 in 1983 and its achievement in sending back more than 2000 pictures. In the years 1987 and 1988 there was no success in space programs because the launch of the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) in these two years ended prematurely. However, in May 1992 ISRO launched the ASLV 3 which hoisted the stretched Rohini Satellite.
The successful launch of INSAT-3B in 2000 and the GSLV-D1 in 2001 were significant achievements. Some significant achievements were the successful flight of PSLV-3C in October 2001, the INSAT-3C in January 2002 GSLV-GST in May 2003, GSLV (Fl) in September 2004, PSLV C6 in May 2005, PSLV – C7 in 2006, PSLV C8, and three GSLV in 2006-2007, PSLV C9 with ten satellites in April, On October 22, 2008, India launched PSLV- II Chandrayaan I successfully.
The Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system is one of the most important domestic communication satellite systems within the Asia-Pacific region. The satellites of the INSAT systems which are in service today are INSAT-2E, INSAT-3A, INSAT-3B, INSAT- 3C, INSAT-3E, KALPANA-1, GSAT – 2, and EDUSAT. It is a multipurpose satellite system and provides services to telecommunications, broadcasting of television programs, weather forecasting disaster warnings.
The INSAT system helps many important sectors of the Indian economy. INSAT is providing Mobile Satellite Service. Television broadcasting and re-distribution have been immensely benefited by INSAT. Because of INSAT, more than 900 million people in India have access to television through about 1400 terrestrial rebroadcast transmitters. A telemedicine network through INSAT now covers more than 100 hospitals. INSAT system has provided meteorological services through a very High-Resolution Radiometer.
Cyclone monitoring is also being done through 350 receivers installed along the East and West coasts of India. An elaborate launch infrastructure has been set up at Sriharikota Island on the East coast of India about 100 kilometers away from Chennai. Sriharikota houses a Telemetry, Tracking, and Command network for tracking and monitoring satellites. ISRO has taken up an active program to interact with academic and research institutions all over the country for the benefit of our space program.
From the very beginning, ISRO has a very good record of international cooperation. It has a memorandum of understanding with 25 countries. India has also set up a Local User Terminal and Mission Control Centre for the international program for providing distress alert and position location service.
The Government of India has drawn up a long-term plan ‘Vision 2025’ for a space research program identifying the goals, program directions, and technology requirements up to 2025. The program encompasses the development of advanced launch vehicle systems including critical technologies for reusable launch vehicles and human space flight programs; developing capabilities in space communications towards meeting the development needs in the areas of education and literacy, health care rural development, and disaster management.
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