The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is the space research and exploration agency of government of India (GOI) headquartered at Bengaluru (Karnataka) aiming to develop and sharpen space research and technology for national development. ISRO was formed in 1969 displacing the Indian national committee for space research (INCOSPAR) established in 1962 with the combined efforts of first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his close aide scientist Vikram sarabhai ,regarded widely as the the Father of the Indian space programme.

What is a satellite?

  • A satellite is an artificial body placed in orbit around the earth, they can be either natural or artificial serving different purposes like communication, navigation, weather, earth observation, military etc The example for natural satellite is Moon ,which keeps orbiting the Earth. Jupitor has 63 moons while Mercury and Venus have no moon.
  • In 1957, Russia became the first country to launch an artificial satellite “SPUTNIK 1” rocketed by “SPUTNIK 8K71PS”. 

Points to be Noted

  • Dr. APJ ABDUL KALAM (Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam ) is known as the missile man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vechile technology.
  • ISRO comes under the authority of department of space of GOI and the PM, managing agencies and institutes. 
  • It has its own commercial wing named “ANTRIX” a marketing arm, its job is to promote products,services and tech development.
  •  It was Dr.Vikram Sarabhai’s continuous efforts which persuaded the Indian government to concentrate on space research work and make a place in the elite club of leading space agencies.

History of Satellites in India

  • India launched its first satellite ”ARYABHATA” in 1975 with the help of “KAPUSTIN YAR“ Russian rocket launch site. 
  • In 1970s, the project SLV (satellite launch vehicle) headed by Dr.APJ Abdul kalam with ISRO to develop the technology for launching satellites was in initial stage and made its first launch in the year 1979 carrying “ROHINI” named satellite to the orbit. The launch vehicle throws the rocket carrying satellite into different orbits. 
  • Subsequently it has developed PSLV (Polar satellite launch vehicle) and GSLV ( Geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle ).
  • The PSLV took its first flight in 1993 and is breaking records since then, with its latest successful flight on 15 february 2017,carved its name in the history by launching 104 satellites in polar orbit at one go in just a single rocket “PSLV C37” from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC),surpassing Russian record of 37 satellites in 2014.
  • It carried 3 Indian satellites 1)CARTOSAT-2 series , India’s weather observation satellite2)INS-1A and INS-1B (Indian national satellite ) and other nations satellites including 96 from US alone.
  • With this Indian satellites launched in space now stands at 46 and the total number of customer satellites from abroad launched by India’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV has reached 180. 
  • It has launched various satellites for historic missions like Chandrayan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), Space Capsule Recovery Experiment, Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System, etc.

Quick Facts

  • ISRO- headquarters- Bengaluru ( Karnataka)
  • Established in 1969
  • Vikram Sarabhai –father of Indian space programme
  • APJ Abdul Kalam- the missile man of India
  • ANTRIX – commercial wing of ISRO
  • First artificial satellite launched by Russia in 1957 named ‘SPUTANIK1”
  • First Indian satellite ( other countries launch site) “ARYABHATA” in 1975
  • First Indian satellite (launch site in India) – “ROHINI” by SLV in 1979
  • NASA:  ( National Aeronautics and Space Administration) ,US 
  • CHANDRAYAN-1 was India’s first lunar probe launched using PSLV-XL.
  • ASTROSATIS India's first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory. It was launched on a PSLV-XL on 28 September 2015
  • The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan is a space probe orbiting Mars since 24 September 2014. It is India's first interplanetary mission] and ISRO has become the fourth space agency to reach Mars, after the Soviet space program, NASA, and the European Space Agency. PSLV C25 carried it to the space ,The total cost of the mission was approximately Rs. 450 Crore (US$73 million) making it the least-expensive Mars mission to date
  • The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission is a joint project between NASA and ISRO to co-develop and launch a dual frequency synthetic aperture radar satellite to be launched in 2020. 
  • ISRO Chairman – AS kiran kumar

India scripted a new chapter in the history of space exploration on Wednesday with the successful launch of a record 104 satellites by Isro's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in a single mission. PSLV-C37 carrying the 104 satellites lifted off from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 9.28am. It was PSLV's 39th flight.
  • Seventeen minutes later, the rocket started placing the satellites into orbit, one by one with a time-frame of about 11 minutes
  • Out of the total 104 satellites placed in orbit, 101 satellites belonged to six foreign countries. They included 96 from the US and one each from Israel, the UAE, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Kazakhstan.
  • PSLV first injected its main payload Cartosat- 2 series, India's indigenously built earth observation satellite. It was followed by two other Nano-Satellites of Isro- INS-1A and INS-1B.
  • It then took less than 10 minutes for the rocket to spew out 101 passengers, which are all foreign nano-satellites, as it traveled up in altitude reaching the polar sun synchronous orbit.
  • Russian Space Agency held a record of launching 37 satellites in one go during its mission in June 2014. India previously launched 23 satellites in a single mission in June 2015.
  • Isro chairman A S Kiran Kumar congratulated his team for the successful launch of 104 satellites. "My hearty congratulations to the team. The Prime Minister has conveyed his congratulations," he said. "We can hit centuries like cricketers".
  • Director, Isro Satellite Centre Mayilsamy Annadurai said, "We can also hit centuries like our cricketers. In another two months, the number of satellites built by ISRO will reach 100. Besides GSLV missions, we have get Chandrayan - 2 ready for launch next year."
  • Mission director B Jayakumar said the launch involved complex issues in management and maneuvering, "A great moment for each and every one of us. We have so far launched 226 satellites including 179 foreign satellites," he said.
  • Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center K Sivan said it was the toughest mission they had handled. "We had to ensure they don't collide," he said.
  • "Last year we saw Nine Successful Launches. This year began with a remarkable event. Congratulations to customers on placing confidence on ISRO's PSLV," said director of Satish Dhawan Space Center P Kunhikrishnan.

All about 104 Satellites:

  • Equipped with panchromatic and Multi-Spectral cameras, the 664 kg Cartosat -2 will provide remote sensing services similar to that of its predecessors.
  • Images from the satellite will be used for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, change detection to bring out geographical and man-made features and various other land information system (LIS) and geographical information system (GSI) applications.
  • INS-1A and INS-1B are versatile and modular nano-satellite bus system envisioned for future science and experimental payload.
  • Among the foreign satellites, 88 cube satellites belonged to San Francisco-based earth imaging startup Planet. With the launch, the company has increased its fleet to 143 satellites which will soon begin capturing images of the earth's entire landmass, including India, every day.
  • Eight other satellites belonging to Spire Global, US, will provide services for vessel tracking and weather measurement.
  • The nano satellites from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UAE are mostly technology demonstrators.

List of Satellites Launched from PSLV

SATELLITEYEARLaunch vehiclePurpose
IRNSS-1A2013PSLV-C221st  in  Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)
IRNSS-1B2014PSLV-C242nd in Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System 
IRNSS-1C2014PSLV-C263rd in Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System 
IRNSS-1D2015PSLV-C274th Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System 
Astrosat2015PSLV-C30ASTROSAT is India's first dedicated space Observatory.
IRNSS-1E2016PSLV-C315th in IRNSS
IRNSS-1F2016PSLV-C326th in IRNSS
IRNSS-1G2016PSLV-C337th and final in IRNSS
Cartosat-2cJune 2016PSLV-C34Earth observation/remote sensing satellite (already one launched in 2005)
SCATSAT-1Sep 2016PSLV-C35Miniature satellite to provide weather forecasting, cyclone prediction, and tracking services to India
 RESOURCESAT-2A 15Feb 2017PSLV-C36a Remote Sensing satellite intended for resource monitoring
CARTOSAT-2D15Feb 2017PSLV-C37Highest number of satellites launched by a single launch vehicle (104 satellites)

List of Satellites Launched from GSLV
GSAT-1 ,D12001GSLV M1Developmental flight
GSLV Mk II  D62015GSAT-69th GSLV flight and
5TH developmental flight.
INSAT-3DR September 2016GSLV F05First operational flight of GSLV Mk II.

Upcoming Satellite launch:

SAARC satellite - SAARC Satellite is a proposed communication-cum-meteorology satellite for the SAARC region. It was announced by the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi in August 2014. It was proposed for a launch in December 2016 but it has been postponed to March 2017.
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IBTS - (Institute for Banking Training & Educational Services) is in the Leading Institution for banking & SSC, IBPS, Center & State exams in Chandigarh.

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