Model Question and Answers for APSC | Give an overview of the space programme of India. Write briefly about major space centres. (APSC-2016-17)
Ans : India forayed into space research back in 1962 when INCOSPAR (Indian National Committee for Space Research) was established in 1962 by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the ‘father of Indian space programme’ Vikram Sarabhai under the Department of Atomic Energy.
Overview of the space programme of India
1. The first Indian satellite, Aryabhata, was built by the ISRO and launched with the help of the Soviet Union on April 19, 1975.
2. Rohini was launched in 1980 becoming the first Indian satellite to be successfully placed in orbit by SLV-3, an India-made launch vehicle.
3. ISRO is now one of the six largest space agencies in the world with one of the largest fleet of communication satellites (INSAT) and remote sensing (IRS) satellites, that cater to the ever-growing demand for fast and reliable communication and earth observation respectively.
4. India is striving towards self-reliant space applications and ISRO has developed a cost-effective and reliable satellite launch system -- of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) to this effort. It is now used by several countries and promotes international collaboration in space research.
5. The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) was also developed with the aim of launching heavier and more demanding Geosynchronous communication satellites.
6. ISRO’s lunar and interplanetary missions and other projects continue to generate crucial scientific data which are extremely valuable to the scientific community.
7. ISRO is moving into the future of space research in India with the development of heavy-lift launchers, human spaceflight projects, reusable launch vehicles, semicryogenic engines, single and two-stage to orbit (SSTO and TSTO) vehicles, development and use of composite materials for space applications etc.
Thanks to ISRO, India now has several space research centres and autonomous institutions for remote sensing, astronomy, astrophysics, atmospheric sciences, and space sciences in general which are functioning under the Department of Space.
List of space research centres in India
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Bengaluru Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station, Thumba (Kerala) Space Commission, Bengaluru Department of Space, Bangalore Indian Space Research Organisation Satellite Centre, Bangalore Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad
Space-based applications and demands for the same has been growing rapidly in India. Various sectors such as agriculture, transport, urban development and weather department now want space technology and data to grow their business and develop future strategies. Thus, in 2020, India allowed private companies to venture into the space industry.