Nuclear Power Projects, India's Space Programme, Space Missions and INSAT-2 Project

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Nuclear Power Projects

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPC), set up in 1987, is responsible for the design, construction and operation of nuclear power plants in the country. It is envisaged that by 2000 AD, India’s atomic power generation would be in the vicinity of 10,000 MW.

India’S Space Programme

The Indian Space Programme began in 1962. In 1969, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was set up with headquarters in Bangalore. The Space Commission was established in 1972. In 1975, India launched its first satellite, Aryabhata, and thus entered the space age.

Space Missions

  • Aryabhata: India launched its first experimental satellite on April 19, 1975 from a Soviet Cosmo drome to perform scientific x-ray experiments in space and send back data to earth.

  • Bhaskar-I: India’s second 436 kg satellite was launched on June 7, 1979 to collect information on India’s land, water, forest and ocean resources.

  • SLV Mission (Satellite Launch Vehicle): India’s first satellite launch vehicle SLV-3 was successfully launched on July 18, 1980 from Sriharikota.

  • Rohini satellite was put into orbit on April 17, 1983 using SLV-3 and this completed the planned developmental flights of the SLV-3.

  • 1984: Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian to travel in space.

  • ASLV: First developmental launch of ASLV but unsuccessful.

  • Apple (Ariane Passenger Payload Experiment): India’s first experimental, geostationary satellite weighing 673 kg was launched on June 19, 1981.

  • Bhaskar-II: India’s second satellite for earth observation was launched on November 20, 1981.

  • IRS Mission (Indian Remote Sensing Satellite): IRS-1A India’s first IRS was launched on March 17, 1988 for monitoring and management of natural resources.

  • IRS-1B India’s second remote sensing satellite was launched on August 29, 1991 to replace IRS-1A which was nearing the end of its life.

  • 1992: ASLV (Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle) successfully launched from Sriharikota on May 20. It is designed to augment indigenous satellite launching capability and put 150 kg class satellite into near earth orbit. Insat-2A was hurled into space from Kourou on July 10.

  • 1993: Insat-2B second indigenously fabricated multipurpose satellite placed in space, by Ariane rocket from Kourou on July 23.

  • IRSIC: The world’s most advanced remote sensing satellite, IRS-1C, built by Indian Scientists, was put into orbit successfully by a Russian rocket from the Baikonur Cosmo drome on December 28, 1995.

  • ASLV is the forerunner of the more powerful Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV). The first development flight of the PSLV, called PSLV-D1, on September 20, 1993, failed. However, according to ISRO it was a partial success which established India’s capabilities in liquid propulsion system.

  • SROSS-III (Stretched Rohini Satellite Series): After failure of two ASLV launches, SROSS-III, a 105 kg satellite was successfully placed in a 450 km high orbit via the launching of ASLV-D3, on May 20, 1992 though th lifespan of the satellite was only 55 days. The fourth development flight was made on May 4, 1994 and SROSS- C4 was successfully placed into the near-earth orbits from Sriharikota.

  • PSLV-D3 was successfully launched in 1996 from Sriharikota, placing the 922-kg. Indian remote sensing satellite, IRS-P3, into orbit. With this, India has entered the US-dominated global market for satellite launch vehicles.

  • INSAT Mission (Indian National Satellite System): For domestic telecommunication, earth observation and nationwide radio and TV broadcasting, India launched four satellites in the INSAT-1 series, viz.

Space Missions
Space Missions


On April 10, 1982-it failed prematurely.


On August 30, 1983-it was successful.


On July 22, 1988-it became redundant in 1989.


on July 17, 1990-it was successful and completed the mission.

INSAT-2 Project

  • INSAT-2A India’s first indigenously built second generation satellite; it was launched on July 10, 1992. It is equipped with 50 per cent more capacity than the INSAT- I series.

  • INSAT-2B India’s second indigenously built satellite. It was launched by the European Space Agency from Kourou, French Guiena on July 23, 1993. INSAT-2B has taken the place of INSAT-1B whose functioning ended following the completion of its ten-year life. The fourth development flight of ASLV-4 was made on May 4, 1994 and the SROSS-C4 was successfully placed into the near-earth orbit from Sriharikota.

  • Insat-2D launched Ariane Rocket from Kourou on June 4, 1997 only four months later failed - disrupted communication had been abandoned in October 97 after efforts to solvage the satellite.

  • IRS-1D satellite launched in 1997 incorporate advanced features such as teh LISS-III camera, a Panchromatic Camera (PAN) and a wide field (wifs) enabling better spectral resolutions - enhancing the application potential of the satellite.

  • PSLV-D4 placed IRS-1D in orbit on October 7, 1997. The first developmental launch of the GSLV was scheduled in 1997-98, using a Russian Cryogenic Engine.

  • Insat-2E: Satellite was placed in space on April 3, 1999. PSLVC2 was launched on May 26 with 3 satellites on board.

  • Insat-3B was launched on March 22, 2000.

  • ISRO Launched Cryogenic Engine: On February 16, 2000, the first cryogenic engine was ignited at the Liquid propulsino Systems Centre at Mahendragiri is Tamil Nadu.

  • GSLV-D1: This was successfully launched on April 18, 2001 from Sriharikota.

  • PSLV-C3: This was launched from Sriharikota on October 22, 2001. Three satellites were put into the orbit of the earth namely (a) TES (India); (b) BIRD (Germany); (c) PROBA (Belgium).

  • INSAT-3C: ISRO built Satellite was launched by ARIANE-4 from Kourou, French Guyana on January 24, 2002.

  • KALPANA-1: To honour the memory of Kalpana Chawla, Prime Minister Mr. Vajpayee renamed METSAT, India’s first meteorological research satellite launched by ISRO on September 22, 2002.

  • GSAT-2: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched India’s second Geo- Stationary Satellite (GSAT-2) on May 8, 2003, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre - SHAR (SDSC - SHAR) at Sriharikota, 100 kms from Chennai.

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