Successful Endeavour in Space (Yojana 2021) (Download PDF)

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Successful Endeavour in Space

  • ISRO sprawls across the country with huge launch stations, tracking centers, R&D facilities, Manufacturing and Data processing units.
  • Engaged in highly sophisticated and complex technological activities.
  • Fledging Sounding Rocket Launch Facility established in the early 1960՚s in Thumba near Trivandrum.
  • Indian Space Programme began in a modest way in 1962 with the formation of the Indian National Committee on Space Research (INCOSPAR) .
  • Launch of the Earth՚s first Artificial Satellite Sputnik-I.
  • Launch of a Nike-Apache sounding rocket on November 21,1963 from Thumba.
  • A fishing hamlet near Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala.
  • A Space Science and Technology Centre at Thumba was set up for the development of technologies essential for space and research by Dr Vikram Sarabhai also known as the architect of the Indian Space Programme.
  • In 1969, the Indian Space Research Organization known by its ubiquitous acronym ISRO was formed.
  • Aryabhatta was launched on April 19,1975 laid strong foundation for the Indian Satellite Programme.
  • Bhaskara 1 and 2, the two experimental earth observation satellites to build complex operational remote sensing satellites.
  • India has become a world leader in satellite-based remote sensing area.
  • APPLE, India՚s first experimental communication satellite launched by the European Ariane rocket.
  • Aryabhatta and the two Bhaskaras including APPLE were launched free of cost.

APPLE Satellite

  • Two significant experiments were conducted by ISRO in the 70՚s -SITE and STEP.
  • To obtain hands on experience on the utilization of satellites for television broadcasting and telecommunications.
  • First Satellite Launch Vehicle SLV-3 was developed by the ISRO.
  • ASLV developed during the 1980՚s, a more capable launch vehicle compared to SLV-3.
  • India՚s first multipurpose operational satellite INSAT IB was launched in 1983.
  • In 1988, IRS-A, the first operational satellite was built in India started imaging the earth from orbit. Images sent by the satellites were utilized in diverse fields such as agriculture, ground, water prospecting, mineral survey, forestry, etc.
  • During the 1990՚s, ISRO began building INSAT-2 series of multipurpose satellites indigenously.
  • INSAT-3-D and INSAT-3-DR provide valuable inputs to weather forecasting.
  • INSAT system today is one of the largest domestic communication satellite systems in Asia-Pacific region.

INSAT system with over 300 transponders in the C-band, Extended C-band, Ku-band, Ka/Ku band and S-band provides services to:

  • Telecommunications
  • Television Broadcasting
  • Radio Networking
  • Satellite newsgathering
  • Societal applications
  • Weather forecasting
  • Disaster warning
  • Search and rescue operations

High throughput satellites such as GSAT-11, GSAT-29 and GSAT-19 are supporting “Digital India.”

Five launch vehicles developed by ISRO:

  • SLV-3
  • ASLV
  • PSLV
  • GSLV
  • GSLV Mk III also known as LVM-3


  • Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.
  • Third generation launch vehicle of India.
  • First Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.
  • 49 successful flights over the years.
  • As on Nov 7,2020 India has launched 328 foreign satellites.
  • Created a world record by successfully placing 104 satellites in orbit during a single launch on Feb 15,2017.
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

Launch of 104 Satellites by PsLV-C-37

  • Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark II is the fourth-generation launch vehicle having three stages including the cryogenic upper stage with four liquid strapons.
  • Cryogenic technology involves storage of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen at very low temperatures. Chilling processes, interplay of engine parameters make the development of cryogenic stage a very challenging and complex task.
  • GSLV Mk III, is India՚s fifth generation satellite launch vehicle with two solid strap-ons, a core liquid booster and a cryogenic upper stage.
  • The first experimental suborbital flight of GSLV Mk III is LVM-3-X/CARE Mission.
  • Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry experiment (CARE) in December 2014.
  • CARE module began its return journey and a little later, re-entered the earth՚s atmosphere. Successfully recovered over Bay of Bengal about 20 minutes after its launch.

Other Launches, Programmes and Experiments

  • AstroSat launched by PSLV in September 2015 aimed at studying celestial sources in X-ray, optical and UV spectral bands simultaneously.
  • Chandrayaan-I spacecraft was successfully navigated to the Moon in three weeks launched on October 22,2008.
  • India became the fourth country to send a probe to the lunar surface after the US, the Soviet Union and Japan.
  • Discovery of water molecules by Chandrayaan-I hailed as a path-breaking discovery.
  • ISRO became the fourth space agency to successfully send a spacecraft to Mars orbit.
  • IIST, the Indian institute of Space Science and Technology, a deemed university was established at Thiruvananthapuram in 2007.
    • Offers Bachelor՚s Degree in Space and Technology
    • Specialization in Aerospace Engineering
    • Specialization in Electronics & Communication
    • Master՚s Programme in areas of space technology.
  • Space science missions like Chandrayaan-3, Aditya-L-1, Mission to Venus to further explore the solar system are in progress.
  • Pursuit of research and development activities pertaining to small satellite launch vehicle, air breathing rocket propulsion and demonstration of reusable rocket technology are also progressing.

Gaganyaan Programme

  • Approved by the Government. of India in 2018.
  • A point of inflection in the growth profile of India՚s space endeavour.
  • Marking a seminal foray into the new age of human space exploration.
  • In Jan 2019, the Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) was constituted.
  • Implementing vision on human space flight programme.
  • HSFC to act as the lead centre for the sustained and affordable human spaceflight activities.
  • Gaganyaan project has the objective of demonstrating human space flight capability to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with 3 crew members for 5 - 7 days in orbit.

The Pad Abort Test (PAT)

  • Crucial technology element of Human spaceflight in July 2018.
  • First in the series test to qualify the Crew Escape System (CES) .
  • To evacuate the crew in case of a contingency at launch pad.
  • India became only the fourth country after the USA, Russia, and China to acquire this vital technology.


  • Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center.
  • Space sector was opened to promote, handhold, regulate and authorize private enterprises and start-ups.
  • To undertake space activities.
  • Will enhance the diffusion of space technology and boost space economy within the country.

Other Achievements of IsRO

  • Successfully built many communications, meteorological and remote sensing, and scientific satellites.
  • Successfully established and operationalized Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) .
  • Provides highly accurate position, Navigation and Time information to users in India and its surroundings.
  • NavIC has been approved by Global Standards body (Develops protocols for mobile telephony) 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3-GPP) .
  • Major mobile chipset manufacturers such as Qualcomm, MediaTek, Broadcom, Allystar have incorporated NavIC in their releases.
  • ISRO is also providing Satellite-based Navigation services with accuracy and integrity through GPS Aided GEO Augmented navigation (GAGAN) for civil aviation applications and to provide better Air Traffic Management over Indian Airspace.
  • 10 student satellites have also been launched by ISRO (building or launching satellites for various applications) .

- Published/Last Modified on: May 11, 2021

Science/Technology, Yojana, Space/ISRO

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