India is one of the sixth most powerful countries in the world regarding space missions. ISRO is the backbone of these missions.
Today marks a very important date in the history of India. Today, the first satellite named Aryabhata was launched from Kapustin Yar, made by ISRO (Indian Space and Research Organisation) on 19th April 1975.
It was assembled in Peenya, near Bangalore named by then Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, after the 5th Century Mathematician-Astronomer Aryabhata, famous for inventing Zero.
The Satellite was built by ISRO but was launched from Kapustin Yar, Russia using a Kosmos-3M launch vehicle. The satellite was built to carry experiments in Aeronomic, solar physics and X-ray astronomy. The satellite was a 26-sided polygon with a diameter of 1.4 metres.
But the scientific instruments were turned off on the fifth day due to failure in the satellite’s power system. The Satellite came home after 17 years on 11th February 1992. The launch came from an agreement with the Soviet Union (USSR) conducted by US Rao in 1982.
Who is US Rao?
Udupi Ramachandra Rao, known as the Satellite Man of India supervised Aryabhata, India’s First Satellite. He also devised and launched 18 other satellites for remote sensing, communication and meteorological services.
He was born in Karnataka on March 10, 1932, was an Indian Scientist and Chairman of ISRO. He worked under the Father of the Indian Space Program, Mr Vikaram Sarabhai.
He later went to complete his PhD from the US and worked for NASA, where he conducted experiments for space probes.
He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1976 and Padma Vibhushan in 2017 for his immeasurable contribution to the development of the Indian Space Sector.
- The satellite’s image appeared on the back of Two Rupees Banknotes.
- The cost of the project was estimated to 3 Crores, plus expenditures.
- Russia and India released commemorative stamps and covers to remember the day.
- After Aryabhata, Small Launch Vehicle (SLV) and Bhaskara I was launched in 1979.
It was the stepping stone from which ISRO started and now has become an independent space body launching satellites, rockets and more, not only for India but other countries as well.
Till now, ISRO has carried out 111 spacecraft missions, 79 launch missions and planned several missions including the Chandrayaan 3, Gaganyaan, Mangalyaan 2, Shukrayaan 1, Aditya, RISAT 1A, NISAR and MOM 2.
Private Aerospace Companies are also helping India achieve space feats like Dhruv Space, Bellatrix Aerospace, Pixxel, AgniKul Cosmos, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and more.