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Indian Space Programme

Despite being a developing economy with its attendant problems, India has effectively developed space technology and has applied it successfully for its rapid development and today is offering a variety of space services globally. During the formative decade of 1960s, space research was conducted by India mainly with the help of sounding rockets. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was formed in 1969. Space research activities were provided additional fillip with the formation of the Space Commission and the Department of Space by the government of India in 1972. And, ISRO was brought under the Department of Space in the same year. In the history of the Indian space programme, 70s were the era of Experimentation during which experimental satellite programmes like Aryabhatta, Bhaskara, Rohini and Apple were conducted. The success of those programmes, led to era of operationalisation in 80s during which operational satellite programmes like INSAT and IRS came into being. Today, INSAT and IRS are the major programmes of ISRO.

For launching its spacecraft indigenously, India is having a robust launch vehicle programme, which has matured to the state of offering launch services to the outside world. Antrix, the commercial arm of the Department of Space, is marketing India’s space services globally. Fruitful co-operation with other space faring nations, international bodies and the developing world is one of the main characteristics of India's space programme.

The most significant milestone of the Indian Space Programme during the year 2005-2006 was the successful launch of PSLV-C6. On 5 May 2005, the ninth flight of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C6) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota successfully placed two satellites - the 1560 kg CARTOSTAR-1 and 42 kg HAMSAT - into a predetermined polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO). Coming after seven launch successes in a row, the success of PSLV-C6 further demonstrated the reliability of PSLV and its capability to place payloads weighing up to 1600 kg satellites into a 600 km high polar SSO.

The successful launch of INSAT-4A, the heaviest and most powerful satellite built by India so far; on 22 December 2005 was the other major event of the year 2005-06. INSAT-4A is capable of providing Direct-To-Home (DTH) television broadcasting services.

Besides, the setting up of the second cluster of nine Village Resource Centres (VRCs) was an important ongoing initiative of the Department of Space during the year. VRC concept integrates the capabilities of communications and earth observation satellites to provide a variety of information emanating from space systems and other IT tools to address the changing and critical needs of rural communities.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 09-02-2011