29 Jul 2013

Indian Space Programs : An Analysis !

'Our land of Hindustan, is the Best in the world’
                                Rakesh Sharma (Rtd. Wing Commander, INDIA)

This was answered by Mr Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian astronaut. While he was in space, when asked by our former Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi on a famous conversation, who asked him how does India look from space? We never thought that we will be an important nation among international space club. It was a dream for every Indian before 1963, the day when we launched our first rocket ‘NIKE APACHE’ from TERLS (Thiruvanantpuram) which was made in USA.


We are celebrating the golden jubilee year of ISRO. The journey was not as easy at initial stage as it seems. We had many hurdles we just liberated from Britain, our economy was dull, we were caught in wars with Pakistan and China and technically we were not so strong to start. Our Instantaneous friend nations like USA, Soviet Union and France helped us in this.

Rakesh Sharma
Dr. Vikaram Sarabhai is the father of our space technology mission who started it from a small church called Thumba (at Kerala). In1962 he crafted a plan and sent it to our government. They formed Indian national committee for space based on this plan. Later it is converted into ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) on 15th August 1969 and Dr. Sarabhai became the first president of the same. ISRO created many mile stones like our first indigenous rocket Rohini-75, first satellite “Aryabhatt”, PSLV, GSLV and many more. Now we are going to ‘Moon and Mars’ to help our humanity on ‘Earth’.


Space- is an infinite place around the earth, where objects move in free form. It has many solar systems, planets, satellites and meteorites etc.

Satellite- has two types- natural and artificial. Moon is the kind of natural satellite whereas artificial are the manmade which are used to do many task on earth which are established in a specific path called orbit. They have payloads and solar panel for source of energy. Payloads are the main instrument which is used to perform communication related task according to various requirements.

Launching Vehicles-To setup a satellite we need to carry them into their orbits for this we use launching vehicle like Polar Satellite Launching Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launching Vehicle (GSLV). It needs escape velocity of 11.2 KM/Sec to overcome the gravity restriction.
·         PSLV is used to establish a satellite into a sun synchronous orbit up to 700KM distance and carry up to 1600 Kg weight. Now PSLV-XL can carry 1750 KG.
·         GSLV used to setup in geostationary orbit up to 36000KM from earth and can carry up to 2500 KG weight. Now GSLV-MK3 is able to carry 4000KG.

Usability of Space Programs:-

Since starting of Indian space program, we have launched many satellites. Which are highly useful of its multiple functions. It takes various inputs from many resources and analyse it after this it send the whole information to receptor on earth. These may be about soil, weather, atmosphere and geography etc. This informative knowledge helps us to improve our process and we can get many advantages in many fields some of them are following.

   1.   Corp production growth.
   2.   Natural resource management.
   3.   Disaster management.
   4.   Weather forecast.
   5.   Education, Television, Telemedicine etc.
   6.   Telecommunication.
   7.   Navigation.
   8.   Defence.

Important Missions:-

Chandrayan-I & II-
On 22nd October 2008 Chandrayan-I launched successfully from Satish Dhavan Space centre (Andhra Pradesh). On 14th November 2008 moon impact probe landed on moon surface and it discovered water as hydroxyl ions on moon’s surface.


Firstly Chandrayan-II was a co-operation between India and Russia but Russia is not willing to continue in this project. So India is going alone with this. In which one Orbitor will move around moon and rover will land on surface. It will analyse the moon’s atmosphere.

Mars Mission-It will be launched in October-November 2013 having main aim to analyse the Mars planet. For this purpose, India will use its strongest launching vehicle PSLV-XL. Primary objectives are to demonstrate India’s technological capability to send a satellite to orbit around Mars and conduct meaningful experiments such as looking for signs of life, take pictures of the red planet and study Martian environment.

It is the first navigational project of India which will provide the real time movement of object. The range of this is 150KM from the main land India so we can track the outer activities to strengthen our defence system. Apart from 6 satellite of group this is first IRNSS-1A we will send 5 more for higher facilities. It involves two types of services, common services for all and premium services for specific client like army, research and governments.


Some people criticise the program due to vast budgeting for same, they think it will affect our basic developments. But we should understand that it is the investment for better future, by this we can achieve our developmental goals easily. Even we can send other country satellite & increase our income.

The architect of Indian space programme Dr. Vikram Sarabhai stated that “There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose. We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned spaceflight. But we are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the comity of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society.”


India is novice in this field. We are on good track but we are not as much as mature like some giant countries which have solid space technology. We have to increase our research programme. We should create solid infrastructures and awareness about space science thus many people can join and contribute in same. We must go with this vision 2025.

India is on a good move to setup many satellites, it will enhance our efforts on every aspects .It is an important factor about our developments in Agriculture, Mining, Natural resources and many more. We should be more active on innovation which can play a great role in our prosperity. With a positive attitude it may become a fruitful tree for us to fulfil our requirements. The unlimited sky is waiting for us to serve us this treasure. We can’t forget the contribution of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam in this context, I remember one famous quote from our former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam :-

“Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.”


What do you think:-

1- Are we on right track in space technology R&D?
2- How is it beneficial for our society?
3- What is the future expectation from these programs?

Kindly give your precious opinions here…

(Written by co-host Jey Mitra of the event Group Discussion for UPSC CSE (Daily 9PM to 11PM) of the group Mission Mussoorie UPSC Civil Services based up on daily discussions. Please join and give your valuable views)



  1. Being a student of physics, I can vouch for the usefulness of the well researched article. Kudos for the writer. Hope to see many more


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