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Today, you will read General Awareness Topic: Know ISRO
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was established in 1969 by the government of India. It is headquartered in Bangalore and is under the umbrella of the Department of Space.
ISRO is the primary space organization of the Indian government and it is one of the largest space agencies in the world to be owned by a government.
The primary objectives of ISRO are to develop and enhance space technology and expand its applications for the benefit of the nation. Dr Vikram Sarabhai, who is considered the father of the Indian Space Program, stated clearly that the establishment of a space research organization is not for conflicts or war. In fact, he believed in the application of advanced technologies to real problems faced by man and the society.
ISRO has achieved a number of milestones since its establishment, including the construction of its first satellite – Aryabhata. This satellite was constructed by ISRO but launched into space by the Soviet Union in 1975. Rohini was the first satellite launched by India into space in 1980. It was placed into the orbit by SLV-3, a launch vehicle made in India.
Subsequently, ISRO developed a rocket called the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle to place satellites into polar orbits. In addition, it developed the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle to place satellites into geostationary orbits.
Over the years, these rockets have launched a number of satellites, including communication satellites and earth observation satellites. In 2008, these rockets managed to launch Chandrayaan-1 into Moon.
Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first unmanned lunar probe, which was launched in October 2008. It operated till August 2009, after which it stopped functioning due to the failure of star sensors and poor thermal shielding. Although the mission lasted for less than 10 months, it managed to fulfill 95 percent of the primary objectives.
The mission saw the construction of a complex spacecraft with 11 scientific instruments, managed to place the spacecraft in circular orbit around the Moon, place India’s flag on the Moon, carry out imaging operations and collect data on the mineral content of lunar soil for further research. The data collected from the mission has been disseminated to Indian scientists and foreign partners for further analysis.
After the successful mission to Moon, India has embarked on yet another mission, and this time India has planned a mission to Mars. A Mars orbiter will be launched in November 2013, with the objective of developing technologies for the design, planning and management of an interplanetary mission. The mission is known as Mangalyaan, and the total cost of the project is estimated to be Rp 454 crores.
Given the complexity of India’s missions to the outer space, it comes as no surprise that ISRO is on par with leading space research organizations in the world, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA).
ISRO has applied its technology for the benefit of mankind in telemedicine and the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE), to name a few. Through SITE, the Indian government managed to conduct large scale video broadcasts, resulting in significant improvement in education in rural areas. Telemedicine has enabled doctors to interact with patients in villages and remote places and cure diseases with the help of satellites.
ISRO has not only taken India’s research and technological capabilities to the next level but it has enhanced the lives of millions through its innovative applications.