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The Success Story of ISRO touches the Mars and the Moon

The logo of ISRO
The logo of ISRO (Picture credit: Wikipedia

Welcome to Youth Motivator. I would like to tell you the journey of ISRO, which grew from being a very humble organisation to becoming one of the world’s most advanced and sophisticated space agencies.

Let us get inspired by this ambitious journey of ISRO into the space.
ISRO stands for the Indian Space Research Organisation.

Starting from scratch-

In the year 1962, the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was set up by Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai in India.

India launched its first rocket on 21 November 1963 from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in a fishing village by name, Thumba in the state of Kerala.

During this launch, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the former president of India and Homi J. Bhabha, the nuclear father of India were also present.
The villagers of Thumba were shifted to another place, so that the rocket can be launched.

The legend behind the legendary success story-

It is due to the efforts of Vikram Sarabhai by which India is enjoying the autonomous access to the space.

Under his leadership, ISRO became very capable to indigenously produce its own satellites and launch them into space.

He was a visionary who developed the space program with the very meagre resources for the socio-economic development of India.

Vikram Sarabhai was later succeeded by Satish Dhawan, who was successful in further expanding the vision of Vikram Sarabhai.
And now, the current chairman of ISRO is Kailasavadivoo Sivan.

The lack of resources doesn’t matter-

In the 1960s, ISRO carried out the space missions with the help of computers which had very low computing power when compared to today’s calculators.

As there were no sufficient computers for ISRO, the scientists used to manually plot the data on the graph sheets to compare the data and to extract useful information like the altitude, etc.

Carrying rocket on a bicycle-

The parts of the India’s first rocket were transported on a bicycle.

An interesting thing to be noted here is that this rocket had no practical use and this was only launched to check if India can launch rockets which can cross the upper atmosphere and reach the space.

The first satellite to be launched-

On 19 April 1975, India launched its first satellite by name, Aryabhata.
This satellite was named after Aryabhata, who was a popular Indian mathematician.

The success of the Aryabhata satellite motivated ISRO to carry out more such satellite projects like Rohini, APPLE, etc.

Although this satellite was indigenously built, fabricated and designed by India, India took the help of the Soviet Union to launch this satellite into the space.

Finally becoming self-dependent-

On 10 August 1979, India launched a satellite by name, Rohini from Satish Dhawan Space Centre located in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh with the help of its very own SLV-3 (Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket.

This rocket is the India’s first rocket which was capable to carry the payload (satellites) into the space.

But at that time, even as India was successful in making its own satellites, it was not capable of launching them into the space.
For launching these satellites, India was depending on the foreign countries.

Eventually, India developed its own indigenous satellite launch vehicle, PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) by the year 1993, thereby becoming self-sufficient in launching its satellites into the space.

Starting with failures-

Unfortunately, the first launch of PSLV was a failure.
The failure was because of software overflow, except this thing, everything worked perfectly.

The software overflow caused the vehicle to lose its control in its third stage because of which it was unable to get into the desired orbit.

Fortunately, after sometime the fourth stage ignited, this corrected all the previous errors but it was too late as the vehicle lost its velocity to move to the orbit.
As a result, the vehicle fell into the Bay of Bengal Ocean.

The first launch was a failure all because of this small software error.
This weak-point was later corrected by which the majority of the consecutive launches were carried out successfully.

The PSLV developed by the ISRO is a very reliable machine, which functions as an expendable medium-lift launch vehicle.
This is a go to vehicle for India and the other countries to launch the medium class satellites.

Even the modern day launching vehicles are based on the PSLV.

One of the twelve countries in the world-

India became one of the twelve countries in the world which are capable of launching their own satellites into space by utilising their own satellite launching vehicles.

The other countries which are capable of achieving this are- Soviet Union, United States, France, Japan, China, United Kingdom, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Iran and North Korea.

Rohini was an experimental communication satellite, which was launched to carryout experiments related to the electromagnetic clearance in the space.

Now comes the bullock cart-

In the year 1981, India launched it’s another satellite by name APPLE (Ariane Passenger Payload Experiment).
APPLE was the first communication satellite built by India, which was successfully launched into the space.

You will be surprised to know that this satellite was transported using a bullock cart.
APPLE was an experimental satellite launched by India to experiment on time, frequency and code division multiple access systems.

This experiment later laid the foundation for the INSAT (Indian National Satellite System).

Helping the masses with the space technology-

After carrying out research with the experimental satellites for over a decade, ISRO started to launch satellites like INSAT which provided public with access to telecommunication, TV and radio services.

The first Indian to enter into space-

On 2 April 1984, Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian to enter space.
He spent eight days in space in the Salyut 7, a Russian space station.

This space mission was conjointly conducted by India along with Russia.

Multiplying the capacity-

In the year 1999, India was able to successfully launch three satellites into the space; previously India was able to launch only one satellite at a time.
These three satellites belonged to India, Germany and South Korea.

The arrival of the giant, GSLV-

The year 2001 marked the arrival of GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle).
GSLV is capable of carrying heavy satellites into space and has been employed in the Chandrayaan (moon) and Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission) missions.

Space Capsule Recovery Experiment-

In the year 2007, India successfully conducted the Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE – 1), here the capsules were launched and eventually they were successfully recovered.

The recovery of the capsules was important to conduct research with the collected data; this data was made obtainable by the recovery of the capsules.

Does the moon contain water?          

On 22 October 2008, India successfully launched Chandrayaan-1, with the help of this mission; India became the first country in the world to collect concrete evidence of the presence of water on moon.


For the Chandrayaan-1 mission, ISRO developed a novel ground network from the scratch.
For this purpose, ISRO established a string of stations, ranging from Trivandrum, Bangalore, Sriharikota, Port Blair, Singapore to Brunei.

These stations enabled ISRO to seamlessly monitor the Chandrayaan mission.
After its successful mission to moon, ISRO readied itself for an interplanetary mission.
Its next target was to explore the red planet, Mars.

Meeting the Mars-

On 5 November 2013, India launched Mangalayaan (Mars Orbiter Mission).
Its objective is to develop the technologies required for the interplanetary mission and to explore the red planet.

With this mission, India and its ISRO created many new records.
ISRO was the first space agency in the world which successfully landed its orbiter onto mars in its first attempt.

Mars Orbiter Mission in addition to being very successful was also very cost-effective, as this mission was successfully accomplished with just 73 million dollars.
Till this date, this mission is still operational, exceeding everyone’s expectations.

Creating a new world record-

On February 14, 2017, ISRO created a new world record by launching 104 satellites into the orbit by using the PSLV-C37 launch vehicle.
This is the very optimistic time for India in the area of space, thanks to great efforts of ISRO.

Taking a giant leap into the future-

The Indian space program took a giant leap with the help of ISRO, which not only built great satellites but also developed capability of launching them into the space, thus greatly contributing to the Indian economy.

All because of ISRO, India joined the elite space club.

A very wide range of applications-

The satellites are employed for a wide range of applications which include but are not limited to communication, broadcasting, education, remote-sensing, health services, etc.

About Chandrayaan-2 mission-

Chandrayaan-2 is the latest moon mission carried out by ISRO.
On 22 July 2019, India has also launched Chandrayaan-2.

For this mission, GSLV Mk-III (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III) launch vehicle was used, this is the biggest launch vehicle ever made by ISRO.

The significance of the Chandrayaan-2 mission to the world-

Chandrayaan-2 mission is of huge importance not only for India but also for the whole world, because with this mission India is searching for Helium-3 on the moon.

Helium-3 is one of the cleanest fuels which do not produce radioactive waste when used in the nuclear plants for the generation of electricity.

But Helium-3 is present in miniscule quantities on earth, so Chandrayaan-2 is set on the mission to explore this fuel on moon, as it is believed that moon has the huge stocks of the Helium-3 fuel.

The typical nuclear reactors produce environmentally hazardous nuclear waste, which emits harmful radiation. So, safely disposing this hazardous waste is the main concern.

So, the discovery of Helium-3 plays a pivotal role towards the production of the clean energy by which we can effectively combat global warming.

The world needs this organisation-

This affirms the fact that ISRO is a very futuristic organisation, which set its foot to explore the solar system and will eventually be a greater part of the global systems which will be formed in the coming years for the exploration and exploitation of the solar system for the benefit of humanity.

The future is very promising for the whole humanity in general and India in particular, as ISRO becomes one of the major global players in exploring the vast space for the common benefit of humanity.

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