Space Science And Communication Milestones

1962 : Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) formed by the Department of Atomic Energy and work on establishing Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) started.

1963 : First sounding rocket laUIlched from TERLS (November 21, ] 963).

1965 : Space Science & Technology Centre (SSTC) established in Thumba.

1967 : Satellite Telecommunication Earth Station set up at Ahmedabad.

1968: TERLS dedicated to the United Nations (February 2, 1968).

1969: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) formed under Department of Atomic Energy (August 15, 1969).



1972 : Space Commission and Department of Space set up. ISRO brought UIlder DOS (June I, 1972).

1972-76 : Air-borne remote sensing experiments.

1975 : ISRO becomes Government Organisation (Ap,il1, 1975). First Indian Satellite, Aryabhata, launched (Ap,il19, 1975).

1975-76 SateUite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) conducted.

1977 Satellite Telecommunication Experiments Project (STEP) carried out.

1979: Bhaskara-I, an experimental satellite for earth observations, launched (JUIle 7, 1979). First Expel'imental launch of SLV-3 with Rahini Technology Payload on board (August 10, 1979). Satellite could not be placed in orbit.

1980: Second Experimental launch ofSLV•3. Rohinisatellite successfully placed in ol'bit. (J uly 18,1980).

1981 : First developmental launch of SLV-3. RS-Dl placed in orbit (May 31,1981) APPLE, an experimental geo-stationary communication satellite successfully launched (June 19, 1981). Bhaskara•II launched (November 20, 1981).

1982: INSAT•lA laUIlch~d (April 10, 1982). Deactivated on September 6,1982.

1983 : Second developmental launch ofSLV•3. RS-D2 placed in orbit (April 17 , 1983). INSAT•IB, launched (August 30, 1983). 139

1984 : I ndo-Soviet manned space mIssion (April 1984).

1987 : First developmental launch of ASLV with SROSS-] satellite on board (March 24, 1987). Satellite could not be placed in orbit.

1988 : Launch of first operational Indian Remote Sensing Satellite, lRS-lA (March 17, 1988). INSAT-IC launched (July 21, 1988). Abandoned in November

1989. Second developmental launch• of ASLV with SROSS•2 on board (July 13, 1988). Satellite could not be placed in orbit.

1990: INSAT•I0 launched (June 12, 1990).

1991 : Launch of second operational Remote Sensing satelUte, IRS•LB (August 29, 1991).

1992 : Third developmental launch of ASLV with SROSS-C on board (May 20, 1992). Satellite placed in orbit.. INSAT-2A, the ft.rst satellite of the indigenously built. second• generat.ion INSAT series. launched (July 10, 1992).

1993 : INSAT•2B, the second sateUite in the I NSAT•2 series, launched (July 23,1993). First developmental launch ofPSLV with IRS•IE on board (September 20, L993). Satellite could not. be placed in orbit.

1994 : Fourth developmentallaunc.b of ASLV with SROSS-C2 on board (May 4, 199--1). Satellite placed in orbit. Second developmental launch ofPSLV with IRS•P2 on board (October 15, 1994). Satellite successfully placed in polar sun synchronous orbit.

1995 : I NSAT•2C, the third satellite m the INSAT•2 series, launched (December 7,1995). Launch of third operational Indian Remote Sensing Satellite, IRS•IC (December 28, 1995).

1996: Third developmental launch of PSLV with IRS•P3 on board (March 21. 1996). Satellite placed in polar sun synchronous orbit.

1997: INSAT•20, fourth sateUite in the INSAT series. launched (June 4. 1997). Becomes inoperable on October 4.1997. (An in-orbit satellite,ARABSAT•IC, since renamed INSAT. 2DT, was acquired in November 1997 to partly augment the INSAT system). First operational launch otPSLV with IRS•] D on board (September 29, 1997). Satellite placed in orbit.

1998: INSAT system capacity augmented With the readiness of INSAT-2DT acquired from ARABSAT(January 1998).

1999 : INSAT•2E, the last satel lite In the multipurpose INSAT-2 series, launched by Ariane from I{Ourali French Guyana (April 3. 1999). fndian Remote Sensing Satellite, IRS•P4 (OCEANSAT), launched by_ Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (pSLV•C2) along with Korean KITSAT-3 and German OLR•TUBSAT from Sriharikotn (May 26, 1999).

2000: I NSAT-3B, the first satellite in the third generation INSAT•3 series. launched by Artane from KQurou French Guyana (March 22, 2000).

2001: Successfulllight test ofGeosynch..ronolis Satelhte Launch Vehicle (OSLV). (April 18, 2001) with an experimental satellite GSAT•} on board. Successful launch of PSLV•C3 (October 22, 2001) placing three satellites India's TES, Belgian PROBA and German BI RD. in to Polar sunsynchronous orbit.

2002 : Successful launch of INSAT-3C by Ariane from Kourou. French Guyana (January 24,2002). ISRO's Polar Satell.tte Launch Vehicle, PSLV• C4, successfully launched KALPANA•l satellite from Sriharikota (September 12, 2002).

2003: Succcssfullaunch ofINSAT-3A by Arlane from Kourou French Guyana, (April 10, 2003). The Second developmental launch ofGSLV-02 with GSAT-2 on board from Sriharikota (May 8, 2003). Successful launch of INSAT -3E by Ariane from Kourou French Guyana, (September 28, 2003). ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV. C5, successfully launched RESOURCESAT•! (lRS-P6) satellite from Srihankota (October 17, 2003).

India launchesEOUSAT. exclusive satellite for educatitma1services. (September 2004) India recognised the potential of space science and technology for the socio-economic developmentofthe society soon after the launch of Sputnik by erstwhile USSR in 1957. The Indian space efforts started in the sixties with the establishment of Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station near Thiruvananthapuram for the investigation of ionosphere using sounding rockets. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), was established in 1969 under the Department of Atomic Energy. The Government of India gave fillip to the space activities by formally setting up t.'le Space Commission and the Department of Space (DOS) in June 1972 and ISRO was also brought under Department of Space. Over the last three decades, India has achieved an enviable progress in the design, development and operation of space systems, as well as using the systems for vital seryices like telecommunication, television broadcasting, meteorology, disaster warning and natural resources survey and management.

The space programme has become largely self-reliant with capability to design and build its own satellites for providing space services and to launch them using indigenously designed and developed launch vehicles. The successful first test flight of Geosrynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) from Sriharikota on April 18, 2001 was the most significant milestone of the Indian space programme. The launch unequivocally demonstrated India's capability to place satellites into geo-synchronous transfer orbits. India is among the si" nations in the world to achieve such a capability. The launch of OS LV is the culmination of efforts of several DOS centres and other institutions that involved complex interfaces between scientific and technological disciplines, industries and research institutions. Another important milestone during the year was the succeasfulflight of PSLV-C3 on October 22, 2001 from Sriharikota. In this fifth consecutively successful flight, PSLV placed three satellites - India's Technology Experiment Satellite, TES, Belgian PROBA and German BIRD into their intended polar sun• synchronous orbit. The requircment of a higher orbit for the Belgian PROBA compared to other two satellites was successfully met by a flight. manoeuvre. Both German and Belgian satellites were launched under commcrcial agreements. The flight has clearly established the reliabil\ty of PSLV for launching not onJy the Indian remote sensing satellites, but also, multiple satellites thus making it an attractive vehicle for the international space community to launch their satellites. PSLV is also used for a geo-synchronous transfer orbit mission for launching India's l\1ETSAT in 2002•03.

The INSAT system for telecommunication, television broadcasting and meteorology has received further boost during the year with t.he successful launch ofINSAT•3C on January 24, 2002.INSAT•3C will not only augment the present INSAT system but also continue the services of some of the satellites that need to be phased out at the end of their mission life. INSAT is one of the largest domestic communication satellite systems in the world with five satellites, INSAT•2C, INSAT•2DT, INSAT•2E, INSAT•3B and INSAT•3C. The INSAT system also includes a few transponders leased Crom other agencies for meeting the current demands. Planning of IN SAT -4 series of satellites has been initiated based on detailed discussions with the various users. Seven satellites are proposed in the INSAT-4 series. Experimental communication satellites, OSATa, are built, which are launched during the developmental test flights of GSLV. Besides the use of INSAT for telecommunication, broadcasting and meteorological s~rvices, emphasis is being given for using the system for grassroots level applications like developmental communication and satellite•based training. New initiatives' have been taken for using INSAT fOI" introduction of tele•medicine to make speciality treatment accessible to the population an remote areas. The Indian remote sensing satellite system, IRS, which has the biggest constellation of satellites, continues to provide space-based remote sensing data for 8 number of applications in India and abroad.

IRS system, at present, has five satellites, namely, LRS-lC, IRS•1D, IRS•P3, fRS•P4 (OCEANSAT) and Technology Experiment Satellite (TES). The TES has given further fillip to advance the tecbnolo~ of remote sensing in India. It has enabled testing new satellite hardware and demonstrating newer remote sensing techniques. It incorporates a panchromatic camera providing a spatial resolution of up to 1 m. Remote sensing satellites like RESOURCESAT, CARTOSAT•I and CARTOSAT•2, is progressing well. They will not only continue the services of the present IRS satellites but 8.lso enhance the service capabilities. CARTOSAT•l is already in service. The remote sensing applications continue to expand to several new areas; the data has been used to assess damage due to floods, earthquakes, etc. and for helping in relief operations. Remote Sensing Data Policy (RSDP) was announced which helps in streamline the availability of remote sensing data from indian and-foreign satellites to users in India. The launch of two satellites . one of Belgium and another of Germany - on board PSLV marks an important event during the year under commercial marketing of India's space capabilities. Data from IRS satellites continue to be received by several ground stations worldwide. The lease agreement of transponders on board INSAT•2E to INTELSAT has continued.

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