India in Space

Free sample essay on Indian Space Programme. Indian mythology is full of stories of interplanetary travels and flights. From the very beginning of civilisation, space­flights have fired the human imagination. The modern space- age can be said to have begun with the launching of the Sputniks by Russia. Since then research and efforts in . space travel have assumed many dimensions. The landing of man on the moon, the launch of space shuttles, and stations etc. and the spectacular success of such spaceships as Mir, Viking, Voyager, Galileo, Ulysses, etc. reflect the strides taken in space by man. In the words of American President, Mr.

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Bush, “The infrastructure of space launch capability would be to the 21st century what the great highways and projects were to the 20th. Reliable space-launches would provide the ‘highway’ to solar system in the next century. We are well underway with unmanned explorations of the solar system. ” India’s entry into space-age is rather late, but it is said that better late than never. The beginning was made in 1975, when India launched its first scientific satellite Aryabhatta I into space, in collaboration with the U. S. S. R. As we did not have our own rocket-launcher, we were helped by the Russians.

However, it gave the country space status. The second satellite, Bhaskara I, was launched on 7th June, 1979 from a Soviet commodore. This 444 kg experimental satellite contained instruments for carrying out remote sensing experiments. Then an improved version of Bhaskara I, Bhaskara II was launched on 20th November, 1981, with the help of a Soviet booster- rocket. Rohini was the first Indian satellite to be launched from the Indian soil, using the indigenous SLV-3 vehicle on July 18 1980. The launch rocket took 12 minutes to put Rohini in its orbit round the earth.

Rohini made a perfect take- off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. With this India became the sixth country in the world to possess satellite launching capability. The other members of the space club were the U. S. S. R. , the U. S. A. , France, China and Japan. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is responsible for the planning and execution of the space programme in India. It develops and fabricates rockets and satellites, etc. for different uses. It has its own rocket launching station at Thumba, near Thiruvananthapuram. It has a great location advantage being very close to the magnetic equator.

There is no other rocket launching station in the world close to the magnetic equator. The U. N. has recognised it as an international facility. The Indian National Satellite System (INSAT), a multipurpose operational satellite system, was established in 1983. Since then it has successfully launched a series of INSATs including more advanced ones like INSAT-2C. Similarly, operational Indian Remote Sensing Satellites have made phenomenal progress. The series began with IRS-IA in March 1988. The IRS-IC had much better spectral and spatial resolutions, more frequent revisits, stereo viewing and on-board capabilities.

It was followed by IRS-ID, IRSP4, INSAT-3B, GSLV-D1 and GSLV-D2. India has now deployed such Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBM) like the Prithui, Nag, etc. , which have been very successfully tested many a time. India’s ambitious plan in rocketry, space research and missile technology have opened the path for continuous space exploration and self-reliance. The success of these space efforts marks a great advancement and proof of the scientific, engineering and technological capabilities of the Indian scientists.

In the field of developing and manufacturing of space-launch vehicles, as well as components, India has been a leader among the developing countries. It has already developed Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) capable of launching 1000- kg class of satellites into a polar sun synchronous orbit. It will soon develop and manufacture Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV, incorporating cryo-engine technology, capable of placing 2,500 kg INSAT class of satellites in geosynchronous transfer orbit.

The space programme in India primarily aims at providing space-based services in the areas of communication, meteorology, resources survey and management. In these areas, India has already made significant progress through a well-integrated, self-reliant programme. Indian space research has not only enhanced the communication capabilities, but now it is also being widely used for providing advanced disaster warning, search and rescue measures, and distance education in remote areas.

Similarly, space remote sensing is providing vital inputs for agriculture, soil, forestry, land and water resources, environment, minerals, ocean development, and in the management of drought and flood disasters. The wide network of space centres and units include Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) Thiruvananthapuram, ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore, Space Application Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, SHAR Centre Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, Development and Educational Communication Unit (DECU), Ahmedabad, ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), Bangalore, and Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka.

The scientists, technologists, engineers and technicians working in these prestigious institutions ensure steady progress in the field as they are exceptionally talented, devoted and ambitious. India is sure to achieve much more, in the use of space, both for the purpose of peace and for defence. Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma was the first Indian to go into space. He was launched into space, aboard the Soviet spaceship Soyuz T II along with Yuri Vasilevich and Gennady Mikhailovich, the two Russian cosmonauts. It happened on 3rd April, 1984, at Baikanour cosmodrome in Kazakhstani.

Thus, India became the 14th nation to have sent a man into space. Dr. Kalpana Chawla became the first Indian lady to go into space in November, 1997. She was chosen out of 2,962 applicants by Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas, U. S. A. The 42 year old dynamic lady had the proud and rare privilege to embark on her second space voyage on January 16, 2003. But, tragically, on her return journey aboard the space shuttle, Columbia, on February 1, 2003, there was an explosion minutes before landing, killing her and all the other crew members.

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