Achievements of India in space

India’s Space programme is poised for growth in the coming years to take forward the space saga and serve the nation with several challenging tasks ahead. Also, Space has been the new frontier of 21st Century. India has made remarkable progress in Space Technology and Planetary Exploration in the last decade and took major strides in utilizing the operational space systems in various fronts of national development – commercial, strategic, societal and economic.

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Dr Vikram Sarabhai is considered to be the father of Indian Space Programme. He had a vision of making India venture into space and play a meaningful role in developing technologies. Ever since 1980, India had managed to make a mark by developing its own satellite.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is one of the largest domestic communications satellite systems in the entire Asia-Pacific. Indian National Satellite System helps in weather forecasting, disaster warning along with providing search and rescue services.

There have been various milestones covered by ISRO since the launch in 1969. The main aim of ISRO is harnessing the space technology for the development of the nation. There have been various instances where ISRO managed to make everyone proud. Some of them are-

  1. In 1975, Aryabhatta was launched by India. It was India’s first satellite into space.
  2. On 15th February 2017, ISRO managed to create a world record of launching 104 satellites by using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in a single mission! Out of 104, 101 were foreign satellites. The launch included India’s own earth observation satellite Cartostat-2 series.
  3. In 1983, ISRO launched Indian National Satellite System which helped them in the field of telecommunications, meteorology, broadcasting along with the rescue operations.
  4. India is the first country to be able to reach Mars in the very first attempt made. The budget for Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) was approx 450 crores which makes it the least expensive mission to Mars in 2014.
  5. The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-MkIII), the heaviest rocket ever made by India is capable of launching four-tonne satellites in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO)
  6. October 2008 marked the launch of a lunar mission. The mission’s aim was to understand the chemical characteristics and topography of Moon. Chandrayaan even managed to hoist the Indian flag on the moon.
  7. In 2015, ISRO launched 1440 kg of the load which marked the heaviest commercial mission.
  8. Built at a low cost of 95 crores, the Reusable Launch Vehicle by ISRO was meant to reduce the cost of satellites by reusing the space shuttles.
  9. Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System consisted of a group of seven satellite which aimed to build India’s own navigation system.
  10. India’s first manned space mission (Gaganyaan): The first human sapce flight Gaganyaan will send three humans into space for five to seven days. ISRO planned it on a home grown rocket GSLV-III. It will be for the first time that India will launch its manned mission to space, making the country fourth in line to have sent a human to space.
  11. Mission Shakti: DRDO-developed anti-satellite system A-SAT successfully destroyed a live satellite in the Low Earth Orbit. With this test, dubbed as Mission Shakti, India is only the fourth country after the U.S., Russia and China to have the technology.

Contribution of space technology in socio-economic development:

1. Ending Hunger: Satellite imagery can tell crop yield on a pixel by pixel basis – enabling farmers to better decide when to add water or fertilizer and when to harvest.
2. In solving water crisis: Satellite images enable broad and efficient monitoring of reservoir water levels, providing early warning of shortages and increasing transparency and consistency in water delivery and sharing.
3. Good Health and Well-being; and Quality Education: A global network of communications satellites could enable internet connectivity to a clear majority of people, especially those in remote regions where infrastructure and development is scarce. With access to the internet comes increased knowledge sharing, the benefits of the best doctors and teachers via tele-medicine and education, and greater communication.
4. Illegal mining tracking: space technology and mobile apps can be used to control pilferage and illegal mining.
5. Geo-MGNREGA, developed by NRSC, is a geo-information enabled web service / portal that assists the planning and management of activities of MGNREGA ranging from support functions to the delivery of work to the end-users.
6. Border Management: Sealing the entire border is a significant challenge mainly due to variations in the terrain and topography like mountain ranges, sea, tropical forest or climate factors, including desert or thinly populated regions. Space technology provides one of the more effective means to overcome it.
7. Space technologies can play important roles in the reduction of disasters. The use of such technologies can be particularly useful in the risk assessment, mitigation and preparedness phases of disaster management. Space technologies are also vital to the early warning and management of the effects of the disaster.
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