Indian Space Programme

Department of Space is responsible for India’s space programme. The responsibility for space research and peaceful uses of outer space was given to the Department of Atomic Energy under the leadership of Dr. Homi J Bhabha in 1961. The Department of Atomic Energy set up the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOPSPAR) with Dr. Vikram Sarabhai as the Chairman to organize National Space Programme in 1962.

ISRO (Indian Space for Research Organisation) is responsible for planning, execution and management of research activities and space application programmes. The headquarters of ISRO is at Bengaluru. The father of Space Programme is Vikram Sarabhai. The first satellite communication station was set up at Arvi, near Pune. Aryabhatta was the first Indian Satellite launched on 19th April 1975 from Baikonur.

INSAT (Indian National Satellite)

It is a system for communication, television, broadcasting and meteorological services, established in the year 1983. INSAT satellite provide transponders in various bands to serve the television and communication need of India.

Application of INSAT satellites –

  • Telecommunication –  it has contributed to the communication revolution in India.
  • Television- for the rapid expansion of television coverage INSAT has been a major catalyst.
  • Educational TV – it has been one of the high priority areas for Doordarshan.
  • Satellite News Gathering- it has been used several times via the INSAT transponders to enable real time coverage from the field.
  • Mobile Satellite service – With the launch of INSAT-2C, on S- Band Mobile Satellite System has been added to the INSAT system.
  • GRAMSAT – satellites have evolved keeping in mind the urgent need to eradicate illiteracy in the rural belt, which is necessary for the all round development of the nation. This programme is in operation in Gujarath, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Odisha.
  • BHUVAN – it is a software application which allows users to explore a 3D representation of the surface of the Earth. It allows users to view 2D and 3D images alongwith information on soil, wasteland, and water resources on the Indian subcontinent.

Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) Satellite

The IRS (Indian Remote Sensing) Satellites are state of art satellites indigenously designed and put into polar orbit for useful remote sensing applications. It is the largest civilian remote satellite constellation in the world. It was first commissioned with the launch of IRS-1A in 1988.

Oceansat Series

It was the first Indian satellite built for ocean applications and was launched in the year 1999. It is a part of IRS series, and carried colour monitor and a multi-frequency scanning microwave radiometer to study physical and biological aspect of ocean.

Cartostat Series

They are stereoscopic Earth observation satellite in the Sun-synchronous orbit. The latest satellite is Cartosat -3 in this series, which was launched on 27th November, 2019. It is imaging satellite with the highest resolution in the world. Its potential application includes weather mapping, cartography, defence etc.

Resourcesat series

This series of remote sensing satellite will provide regular micro and macro information on land and water bodies below, farm land and crop extent, forest, mineral deposits etc. the latest satellite of this series Resourcesat-2A was launched on 7th December 2016.

RISAT series

It is a type of synthetic-aperature radar imaging satellite for reconnaissance built by ISRO. The latest satellite in this series was RISAT-2BR1 was launched on 11th December 2019. It was 50th launch of polar satellite launch vehicle and 75th launch from Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

SCATSAT series

It provides weather forecasting, cyclone prediction and tracking service to India. India was depended upon NASA’s ISS-Rapidscat for cyclone forecasting and weather prediction before launch of this satellite on 26th September 2016.

Satellite on the basis of orbiting path

Low Earth Orbit Satellite –

They are functional in an elliptical orbit of about 160-600 km.

Sun Synchronous Satellite-

These orbits allow a satellite to pass over a section of Earth at the same time of the day.

Geosynchronous Satellite

It is also known as geostationary satellite, which orbits in elliptical orbit of 36,000 km altitude. It revolves with the same speed as the rotation of the Earth and hence from the point of observation, it occurs to be stationary.

Prominent Space Missions of India

  • Chandrayaan – I: It was India’s first unmanned lunar probe launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation in October 2008, and operated until August 2009. It launched a lunar orbiter and an impactor. India had launched the spacecraft with a modified version of the PSLV, PSLV C 11 on 22nd October 2008, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

It had the objectives of –

  • To design, develop, launch and orbit a spacecraft around the Moon using an Indian made launch vehicle.
  • The preparation of 3-D atlas of both the near and far sides of the moon.
  • Chemical and mineralogical mapping of the entire lunar surface.
  • Mars Orbiter Mission- it was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 5th November 2013, its spacecraft bound for Planet Mars from Sriharikota. It was the first interplanetary project of India.

Its objectives were –

  • Finding methane on the Martian surface.
  • Exploring the mineral composition of the surface.
  • India’s capability to design, develop, test and manage the operations of an interplanetary mission.
  • Deep space communication.
  • Chandrayaan-II – it is the fully indigenous, the second lunar exploration mission failed to make a soft landing on the Lunar South Pole on 6th September, 2019. It carried an orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan). It was launched by GSLV MK III-MI.  If it could have been completed successfully, India would have become 4th country to soft land on lunar surfaces besides becoming the first one to have soft landing on Moon’s South Polar Mission.
  • Chandrayaan- III – The third Lunar mission with an estimated cost around 600 crore have been approved. It will have a lander, rover and a propulsion module and will likely attempt another soft landing on lunar surface.
Space CentresPlaces
Vikram Sarabhai Space CentreThiruvananthapuram
ISRO Satellite CentreBengaluru
Space Application CentreAhemdabad
Sriharikota High Altitude RangeSriharikota, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh
Master Control FacilityHassan, Bhopal
Liquid Probulsion System CentreValiyamala Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Mahendragiri
Physical Research LaboratoryAhemdabad
National Remote Sensing CentreHyderabad
ISRO Telemetary Tracking and Command NetworkBengaluru (Main centre), Lucknow, Mauritus, Sriharikota
New Space India LimitedBengaluru

Conclusion –  

The Indian Space was launched in 1962, when the Indian National Committee for Space Research was formed. It was reorganized by forming the Indian Space Reorganisation in 1969. The Indian Space Programme is aimed at promoting the development and application of space science for the socio-economic benefit of the nation through establishment of operational space services in a self-reliant manner.


Magbook on General Science (Arihant Publications (India) ltd.)195

Aishwarya Says:

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