Milestones in the Journey of ISRO


First Indian Satellite

India built its first satellite, ‘Aryabhatta’ that was launched into space by Soviet Union on 15 April 1975. During the 1960’s and 70’s programme were initiated for the development of indigenous launch vehicles, and finally in 1979, ISRO successfully developed Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3).

First Satellite Launched Indigenously

In 1980, ‘Rohini’, was the first satellite placed into orbit by the Indian SLV-3, in order to achieve self sufficiency in this field, the period from 1980 – 1990’s was dedicated to the development of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

PSLV can launch small size satellites into geostationary transfer orbit. PSLV was first launched on 20 September 1993.On 30 June 2014, PSLV successfully launched.

Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)

GSLV is meant to launch heavy satellites like the INSAT series, with a payload of 500 tons. On 25 December 2010, ISRO, finding itself very close to achieving a success received a setback as the GSLV launch failed due to technical snags. Again in August 2013 launch had to be aborted because of fuel leakage during the second stage of launch.Finally, on 05 January 2014, GSLV D5 successfully launched GSAT-14 into its intended orbit 

Satellites launched by ISRO

INSAT Series. Multi-purpose geostationary satellites commissioned in 1983. It satisfies the need for telecommunication, broadcasting, metrology and search and rescue missions. INSAT is the largest domestic communication system in the Asia Pacific region.

IRS Series. Indian Remote Sensing Satellite System is the largest Remote Sensing constellation for civilian use in operation in the entire world. It provides useful data to undertake relevant national development programmes.

RISAT Series. Radar Imaging Satellites RISAT-1 and RISAT-2 have been launched to obtain high resolution data.

GSAT Series. These are experimental satellites launched from GSLV. GSLV D5 successfully launched GSAT-14 into its intended orbit on 05 January 2014.

GSAT-16. A multi-application satellite for telecommunication was successfully launched from on board Arianespace rocket from the space port of Kourou in French Guiana on 07 December 2014.

Lunar Exploration

Chandrayan-1 First unmanned mission to moon was launched using modified version of PSLV from SD Space Centre, Srihaikota on 22 October 2008.Chandrayan-1 became the first lunar mission to discover the traces of water on moon.

Chandrayan-2 Is launched using GSLV-MkII , it  is India’s second  Lunar mission to further understand the origin and evolution of moon.

Mars Exploration

ISRO launched its $74 million first Mars Orbiter Mission called the Mangalyan on 05 November 2013. It carries 15-kilogram suite of five science instruments to study the Martian upper atmosphere, surface features and mineralogy.


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