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Indian Space Research Organisation

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Coordinates: 12580N 77340E

Indian Space Research Organisation

Indian Space Research Organisation Logo.svg

ISRO logo

Acronym ISRO

OwnerIndia

Established 15 August 1969

(1962 as INCOSPAR)

Headquarters Bangalore, India

Primary spaceport Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota

Motto Space Technology in the Service of Human Kind

Administrator A S Kiran Kumar, Chairman

Budget INR6792 crore (US$1.1 billion) (201314)[1][2]

Website www.isro.gov.in

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO, /sro/) is the space agency of the
Indian government. It is among the largest government space agencies in the world.
[citation needed] Its primary objective is to advance space technology and use its
applications for national benefit.[3]
Established in 1969, ISRO superseded the erstwhile Indian National Committee for
Space Research (INCOSPAR), thus institutionalizing space activities in India.[4] It is
managed by the Department of Space, which reports to the Prime Minister.

ISRO built India's first satellite, Aryabhata, which was launched by the Soviet Union
on 19 April in 1975. In 1980, Rohini became the first satellite to be placed in orbit by
an Indian-made launch vehicle, SLV-3. ISRO subsequently developed two other
rockets: the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for launching satellites into polar
orbits and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) for placing satellites
into geostationary orbits. These rockets have launched numerous communications
satellites and earth observation satellites. Satellite navigation systems like GAGAN
and IRNSS have been deployed. In January 2014, ISRO successfully used an
indigenous cryogenic engine in a GSLV-D5 launch of the GSAT-14.[5][6]

On 22 October 2008, ISRO sent its first mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-1. On 5
November 2013, ISRO launched its Mars Orbiter Mission, which successfully entered
the Mars orbit on 24 September 2014, making India the first nation to succeed on
its maiden attempt, and ISRO the first Asian space agency to reach Mars orbit.[7]
Future plans include development of GSLV Mk III (for launch of heavier satellites),
development of a reusable launch vehicle, human spaceflight, further lunar
exploration, interplanetary probes, a satellite to study the Sun, etc.[8]

ISRO has conducted a variety of operations for both Indian and foreign clients. It has
several field installations as assets, and co-operates with the international
community as a part of several bilateral and multilateral agreements. Several
foreign satellites have been launched by ISRO's launch vehicles,[9] and several
ISRO satellites have been launched by foreign launch vehicles.

Contents [hide]

1 Formative years

2 Goals and objectives

3 Organisation structure and facilities

3.1 Research facilities

3.2 Test facilities


3.3 Construction and launch facilities

3.4 Tracking and control facilities

3.5 Human resource development

3.6 Commercial wing (Antrix Corporation)

3.7 Other facilities

4 Launch vehicle fleet

4.1 Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV)

4.2 Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV)

4.3 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)

4.4 Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)

4.4.1 Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (GSLV III)

5 Satellite programs

5.1 The INSAT series

5.2 The IRS series

5.3 Radar Imaging Satellites

5.4 Other satellites

5.5 GAGAN satellite navigation system

5.6 IRNSS satellite navigation system

6 Human spaceflight programme

6.1 Technology demonstration

6.2 Astronaut training and other facilities

6.3 Development of crew vehicle

7 Planetary sciences and astronomy

8 Extraterrestrial exploration

8.1 First mission to the Moon: Chandrayaan-1

8.2 Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalayaan)


9 Future projects

9.1 Future launch vehicles

9.1.1 Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD)

9.2 Extraterrestrial exploration

9.2.1 Chandrayaan-2

9.2.2 Solar exploration programme

9.3 Space science missions

10 Applications

10.1 Telecommunication

10.2 Resource management

10.3 Military

10.4 Academic

10.5 Telemedicine

10.6 Biodiversity Information System

10.7 Cartography

11 International co-operation

11.1 Foreign satellites launched by ISRO

11.2 ISRO satellites launched by foreign agencies

12 Controversies

12.1 S-band spectrum scam

13 See also

14 Citations

15 References

16 Further reading

17 External links

Formative years[edit]
Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the father of India's Space Programme.

Modern space research in India is most visibly traced to the 1920s, when the
scientist S. K. Mitra conducted a series of experiments leading to the sounding of
the ionosphere by application of ground based radio methods in Calcutta.[10] Later,
Indian scientists like C.V. Raman and Meghnad Saha contributed to scientific
principles applicable in space sciences.[10] However, it was the period after 1945
which saw important developments being made in coordinated space research in
India.[10] Organised space research in India was spearheaded by two scientists:
Vikram Sarabhaifounder of the Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabadand
Homi Bhabha, who established the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in 1945.
[10] Initial experiments in space sciences included the study of cosmic radiation,
high altitude and airborne testing of instruments, deep underground
experimentation at the Kolar minesone of the deepest mining sites in the world
and studies of the upper atmosphere.[11] Studies were carried out at research
laboratories, universities, and independent locations.[11][12]

In 1950, the Department of Atomic Energy was founded with Homi Bhabha as its
secretary.[12] The Department provided funding for space research throughout
India.[13] During this time, tests continued on aspects of meteorology and the
Earth's magnetic field, a topic which was being studied in India since the
establishment of the observatory at Colaba in 1823. In 1954, the Uttar Pradesh
state observatory was established at the foothills of the Himalayas.[12] The
Rangpur Observatory was set up in 1957 at Osmania University, Hyderabad. Space
research was further encouraged by the technically inclined Prime Minister of India,
Jawaharlal Nehru.[13] In 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik and
opened up possibilities for the rest of the world to conduct a space launch.[13]

The Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was set up in 1962
by Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister.[14] It had Dr. Vikram Sarabhai as its
chairman. INCOSPAR eventually grew into ISRO in 1969.[14]

Goals and objectives[edit]

The prime objective of ISRO is to develop space technology and its application to
various national tasks.[3] The Indian space programme was driven by the vision of
Dr Vikram Sarabhai, considered the father of Indian Space Programme.[15] As he
said in 1969:
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 space-flight. But we are convinced that if we are
to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the community of nations, we must be
second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of
man and society.[3]

The former Indian President Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam said:

Many individuals with myopic vision questioned the relevance of space


activities in a newly independent nation, which was finding it difficult to feed its
population. Their vision was clear if Indians were to play meaningful role in the
community of nations, they must be second to none in the application of advanced
technologies to their real-life problems. They had no intention of using it as a means
of displaying our might.[16]

India's economic progress has made its space programme more visible and active
as the country aims for greater self-reliance in space technology.[17] In 2008 India
launched as many as 11 satellites, including nine from other countries and went on
to become the first nation to launch 10 satellites on one rocket."[17] ISRO has
successfully put into operation two major satellite systems: Indian National
Satellites (INSAT) for communication services and Indian Remote Sensing (IRS)
satellites for management of natural resources.

On July 2012, the former President, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam said that research was
being done by ISRO and DRDO for developing cost reduction technologies for access
to space.[18]

Organisation structure and facilities[edit]

Organization chart showing the structure of the Department of Space of the


Government of India.

ISRO is managed by the Department of Space (DoS) of the Government of India.


DoS itself falls under the authority of the Prime Minister and the Space Commission,
and manages the following agencies and institutes:[19]
Indian Space Research Organisation

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram.

Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Thiruvananthapuram.

Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC-SHAR), Sriharikota.

ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore.

Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad.

National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad.

ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU), Thiruvananthapuram.

Development and Educational Communication Unit (DECU), Ahmedabad.

Master Control Facility (MCF), Hassan.

ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), Bangalore.

Laboratory for Electro-Optics Systems (LEOS), Bangalore.

Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Dehradun.

Antrix Corporation - The marketing arm of ISRO.

Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad.

National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), Gadanki.

North-Eastern Space Applications Centre[20] (NE-SAC), Umiam.

Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL), Mohali.

Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram -


India's space university.

Research facilities[edit]

Facility Location Description

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Thiruvananthapuram The largest ISRO base is


also the main technical centre and the venue of development of the SLV-3, ASLV,
and PSLV seris.[21] The base supports India's Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching
Station and the Rohini Sounding Rocket programme.[21] This facility is also
developing the GSLV series.[21]
Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre Thiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru The
LPSC handles design, development, testing and implementation of liquid propulsion
control packages, liquid stages and liquid engines for launch vehicles and satellites.
[21] The testing of these systems is largely conducted at IPRC at Mahendragiri.[21]
The LPSC, Begaluru also produces precision transducers.[22]

Physical Research Laboratory Ahmedabad Solar planetary physics, infrared


astronomy, geo-cosmo physics, plasma physics, astrophysics, archaeology, and
hydrology are some of the branches of study at this institute.[21] An observatory at
Udaipur also falls under the control of this institution.[21]

Semi-Conductor Laboratory Chandigarh Research & Development in the field


of semiconductor technology, micro-electromechanical systems and process
technologies relating to semiconductor processing.

National Atmospheric Research Laboratory Chittoor The NARL carries out


fundamental and applied research in Atmospheric and Space Sciences.

Space Applications Centre Ahmedabad The SAC deals with the various
aspects of practical use of space technology.[21] Among the fields of research at the
SAC are geodesy, satellite based telecommunications, surveying, remote sensing,
meteorology, environment monitoring etc.[21] The SEC additionally operates the
Delhi Earth Station.[23]

North-Eastern Space Applications Centre Shillong Providing developmental


support to North East by undertaking specific application projects using remote
sensing, GIS, satellite communication and conducting space science research.

Test facilities[edit]

Facility Location Description

ISRO Propulsion Complex Mahendragiri Formerly called LPSC-Mahendragiri,


was declared a separate centre. It handles testing and assembly of liquid propulsion
control packages, liquid engines and stages for launch vehicles and satellites.[21]

Construction and launch facilities[edit]

Facility Location Description

ISRO Satellite Centre Bengaluru The venue of eight successful spacecraft


projects is also one of the main satellite technology bases of ISRO. The facility
serves as a venue for implementing indigenous spacecraft in India.[21] The
satellites Ayrabhata, Bhaskara, APPLE, and IRS-1A were constructed at this site, and
the IRS and INSAT satellite series are presently under development here.[22]

Laboratory for Electro-Optics Systems Bengaluru The Unit of ISRO responsible for
the development of altitude sensors for all satellites. The high precision optics for all
cameras and payloads in all ISRO satellites including Chandrayaan-1 are developed
at this laboratory. Located at Peenya Industrial Estate, Bangalore.

Satish Dhawan Space Centre Sriharikota With multiple sub-sites the Sriharikota
island facility acts as a launching site for India's satellites.[21] The Sriharikota
facility is also the main launch base for India's sounding rockets.[22] The centre is
also home to India's largest Solid Propellant Space Booster Plant (SPROB) and
houses the Static Test and Evaluation Complex (STEX).[22]

Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station Thiruvananthapuram TERLS is


used to launch sounding rockets.

Tracking and control facilities[edit]

Facility Location Description

Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) Bengaluru This network receives,


processes, archives and distributes the spacecraft health data and payload data in
real time. It can track and monitor satellites up to very large distances, even beyond
the Moon.

National Remote Sensing Centre Hyderabad The NRSC applies remote sensing to
manage natural resources and study aerial surveying.[21] With centres at Balanagar
and Shadnagar it also has training facilities at Dehradun in form of the Indian
Institute of Remote Sensing.[21]

ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network Bangalore (headquarters) and a


number of ground stations throughout India and World.[23] Software
development, ground operations, Tracking Telemetry and Command (TTC), and
support is provided by this institution.[21] ISTRAC has Tracking stations throughout
the country and all over the world in Port Louis (Mauritius), Bearslake (Russia), Biak
(Indonesia) and Brunei.

Master Control Facility Bhopal; Hassan Geostationary satellite orbit raising,


payload testing, and in-orbit operations are performed at this facility.[24] The MCF
has earth stations and Satellite Control Centre (SCC) for controlling satellites.[24] A
second MCF-like facility named 'MCF-B' is being constructed at Bhopal.[24]

Human resource development[edit]

Facility Location Description

Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS) Dehradun Indian Institute of Remote


Sensing (IIRS), an independent unit of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO),
Department of Space, Govt. of India is a premier training and educational institute
set up for developing trained professionals (P.G and PhD level) in the field of Remote
Sensing, Geoinformatics and GPS Technology for Natural Resources, Environmental
and Disaster Management. IIRS is also executing many R&D projects on Remote
Sensing and GIS for societal applications.

Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) Thiruvananthapuram


The institute offers undergraduate and graduate courses in Aerospace
engineering, Avionics and Physical Sciences. The students of the first three batches
of IIST have been inducted into different ISRO centres as of September 2012.

Development and Educational Communication Unit Ahmedabad The centre works


for education, research, and training, mainly in conjunction with the INSAT
programme.[21] The main activities carried out at DECU include GRAMSAT and
EDUSAT projects.[22] The Training and Development Communication Channel
(TDCC) also falls under the operational control of the DECU.[23]

Commercial wing (Antrix Corporation)[edit]

Facility Location Description

Antrix Corporation Bengaluru The marketing agency under government control


markets ISRO's hardware, manpower, software, launch services, etc.[24]

Other facilities[edit]

Balasore Rocket Launching Station (BRLS) Odisha

ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU) Thiruvananthapuram

Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS)

Aerospace Command of India (ACI)

Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR)

Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA)

Indian Space Science Data Centre (ISSDC)

Spacecraft Control Centre (SCC)

Regional Remote Sensing Service Centres (RRSSC)

Development and Educational Communication Unit (DECU)

Launch vehicle fleet[edit]

Comparison of Indian carrier rockets. Left to right: SLV, ASLV, PSLV, GSLV, GSLV
Mk.III.
During the 1960s and 1970s, India initiated its own launch vehicle programme
owing to geopolitical and economic considerations. In the 1960s1970s, the country
successfully developed a sounding rockets programme, and by the 1980s, research
had yielded the Satellite Launch Vehicle-3 and the more advanced Augmented
Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV), complete with operational supporting infrastructure.
[25] ISRO further applied its energies to the advancement of launch vehicle
technology resulting in the creation of PSLV and GSLV technologies.

Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV)[edit]

Main article: Satellite Launch Vehicle

Status: Decommissioned

The Satellite Launch Vehicle, usually known by its abbreviation SLV or SLV-3 was a 4-
stage solid-propellant light launcher. It was intended to reach a height of 500 km
and carry a payload of 40 kg.[26] Its first launch took place in 1979 with 2 more in
each subsequent year, and the final launch in 1983. Only two of its four test flights
were successful.[27]

Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV)[edit]

Main article: ASLV

Status: Decommissioned

The Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle, usually known by its abbreviation ASLV
was a 5-stage solid propellant rocket with the capability of placing a 150 kg satellite
into Low Earth Orbit. This project was started by the ISRO during the early 1980s to
develop technologies needed for a payload to be placed into a geostationary orbit.
Its design was based on Satellite Launch Vehicle.[28] The first launch test was held
in 1987, and after that 3 others followed in 1988, 1992 and 1994, out of which only
2 were successful, before it was decommissioned.[27]

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)[edit]

PSLV-C8 (CA Variant) carrying the AGILE x-ray and -ray astronomical satellite of
the Italian Space Agency lifting off from the SDSC, Sriharikota.

Main article: PSLV


Status: Active

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, usually known by its abbreviation PSLV, is an
expendable launch system developed to allow India to launch its Indian Remote
Sensing (IRS) satellites into Sun synchronous orbits, a service that was, until the
advent of the PSLV, commercially viable only from Russia.[citation needed] PSLV can
also launch small satellites into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). The reliability
and versatility of the PSLV is proven by the fact that it has launched, as of 2014, 71
satellites/spacecraft (31 Indian and 40 foreign) into a variety of orbits.[29][30] The
maximum number of satellites launched by the PSLV in a single launch is 10, in the
PSLV-C9 launch on 28 April 2008 (690 kg CARTOSAT-2A, 83 kg Indian Mini Satellite,
and 8 nano-satellites, launched by PSLV's "core-alone" version).[31][32][33]

Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)[edit]

GSLV-D5 lifts off carrying GSAT-14 satellite.

Main article: GSLV

Status: Active

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, usually known by its abbreviation


GSLV, is an expendable launch system developed to enable India to launch its
INSAT-type satellites into geostationary orbit and to make India less dependent on
foreign rockets. At present, it is ISRO's second-heaviest satellite launch vehicle and
is capable of putting a total payload of up to 5 tons to Low Earth Orbit. The vehicle
is built by India with the cryogenic engine purchased from Russia while the ISRO
develops its own engine programme.

In a setback for ISRO, the attempt to launch the GSLV, GSLV-F07 carrying GSAT-5P,
failed on 25 December 2010. The initial evaluation implies that loss of control for
the strap-on boosters caused the rocket to veer from its intended flight path, forcing
a programmed detonation. Sixty-four seconds into the first stage of flight, the rocket
began to break up due to the acute angle of attack. The body housing the 3rd stage,
the cryogenic stage, incurred structural damage, forcing the range safety team to
initiate a programmed detonation of the rocket.[34]

On 5 January 2014, GSLV-D5 successfully launched GSAT-14 into intended orbit. This
also marked first successful flight using indigenous cryogenic engine, making India
the sixth country in the world to have this technology.[5][6]
Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (GSLV III)[edit]

First test launch of GSLV Mk III, with an unmanned crew module.

Main article: GSLV III

Status: Active

GSLV-Mk III can launch four tonne satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit. It is a
three-stage vehicle with a 110 tonne core liquid propellant stage (L-110) and a
strap-on stage with two solid propellant motors, each with 200 tonne propellant (S-
200). The upper stage will be cryogenic with a propellant loading of 25 tonne (C-25).
It has a lift-off mass of about 640 tonnes, and is 43.43 meters tall. The payload
fairing has a diameter of 5 meters and a payload volume of 100 cubic meters.[35] It
will allow India to become less dependent on foreign rockets for heavy lifting.[36]

On 18 December 2014, ISRO successfully conducted an experimental test-flight of


GSLV MK III carrying a crew module, to be used in future human space missions.[37]
This suborbital test flight demonstrated the performance of GSLV Mk III in the
atmosphere.[38]

Satellite programs[edit]

INSAT-1B.

India's first satellite, the Aryabhata, was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April
1975 from Kapustin Yar using a Cosmos-3M launch vehicle. This was followed by the
Rohini series of experimental satellites which were built and launched indigenously.
At present, ISRO operates a large number of earth observation satellites.

The INSAT series[edit]

Main article: Indian National Satellite System

INSAT (Indian National Satellite System) is a series of multipurpose geostationary


satellites launched by ISRO to satisfy the telecommunications, broadcasting,
meteorology and search-and-rescue needs of India. Commissioned in 1983, INSAT is
the largest domestic communication system in the Asia-Pacific Region. It is a joint
venture of the Department of Space, Department of Telecommunications, India
Meteorological Department, All India Radio and Doordarshan. The overall
coordination and management of INSAT system rests with the Secretary-level INSAT
Coordination Committee.

The IRS series[edit]

Main article: Indian Remote Sensing satellite

Indian Remote Sensing satellites (IRS) are a series of earth observation satellites,
built, launched and maintained by ISRO. The IRS series provides remote sensing
services to the country. The Indian Remote Sensing Satellite system is the largest
constellation of remote sensing satellites for civilian use in operation today in the
world. All the satellites are placed in polar Sun-synchronous orbit and provide data
in a variety of spatial, spectral and temporal resolutions to enable several
programmes to be undertaken relevant to national development. The initial versions
are composed of the 1 (A, B, C, D) nomenclature. The later versions are named
based on their area of application including OceanSat, CartoSat, Resource Sat.

Radar Imaging Satellites[edit]

ISRO currently operates two Radar Imaging Satellites. RISAT-1 was launched from
Sriharikota Spaceport on 26 April 2012 on board a PSLV. RISAT-1 carries a C-band
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload, operating in a multi-polarisation and multi-
resolution mode and can provide images with coarse, fine and high spatial
resolutions.[39] India also operates RISAT-2 which was launched in 2009 and
acquired from Israel at a cost $110 million.[39]

Other satellites[edit]

ISRO has also launched a set of experimental geostationary satellites known as the
GSAT series. Kalpana-1, ISRO's first dedicated meteorological satellite,[40] was
launched by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle on 12 September 2002.[41] The
satellite was originally known as MetSat-1.[42] In February 2003 it was renamed to
Kalpana-1 by the Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in memory of Kalpana
Chawla a NASA astronaut of Indian origin who perished in Space Shuttle Columbia.
SARAL satellite model.

ISRO has also successfully launched the Indo-French satellite SARAL on 25 February
2013, 12:31 UTC. SARAL (or "Satellite with ARgos and ALtiKa") is a cooperative
altimetry technology mission. It is being used for monitoring the oceans surface and
sea-levels. AltiKa will measure ocean surface topography with an accuracy of 8 mm,
against 2.5 cm on average using current-generation altimeters, and with a spatial
resolution of 2 km.[43][44]

In June 2014, ISRO launched French Earth Observation Satellite SPOT-7 (mass 714
kg) along with Singapore's first nano satellite VELOX-I, Canada's satellite CAN-X5,
Germany's satellite AISAT, via the PSLV-C23 launch veicle. It was ISRO's 4th
commercial launch.[45][46]

GAGAN satellite navigation system[edit]

Main article: GPS-aided geo-augmented navigation

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has decided to implement an indigenous Satellite-


Based Regional GPS Augmentation System also known as Space-Based
Augmentation System (SBAS) as part of the Satellite-Based Communications,
Navigation and Surveillance (CNS)/Air Traffic Management (ATM) plan for civil
aviation. The Indian SBAS system has been given an acronym GAGAN GPS Aided
GEO Augmented Navigation. A national plan for satellite navigation including
implementation of Technology Demonstration System (TDS) over the Indian air
space as a proof of concept has been prepared jointly by Airports Authority of India
(AAI) and ISRO. TDS was successfully completed during 2007 by installing eight
Indian Reference Stations (INRESs) at eight Indian airports and linked to the Master
Control Centre (MCC) located near Bengaluru.

The first GAGAN navigation payload has been fabricated and it was proposed to be
flown on GSAT-4 during Apr 2010. However, GSAT-4 was not placed in orbit as GSLV-
D3 could not complete the mission. Two more GAGAN payloads will be subsequently
flown, one each on two geostationary satellites, GSAT-8 and GSAT-10. On 12 May
2012, ISRO announced the successful testing of its indigenous cryogenic engine for
200 seconds for its forthcoming GSLV-D5 flight.[47]

IRNSS satellite navigation system[edit]

Main article: IRNSS


IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system being developed by
India. It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India
as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary, which is its
primary service area. IRNSS will provide two types of services, namely, Standard
Positioning Service (SPS) and Restricted Service (RS) and is expected to provide a
position accuracy of better than 20 m in the primary service area.[48] It is an
autonomous regional satellite navigation system being developed by Indian Space
Research Organisation which would be under total control of Indian government.
The requirement of such a navigation system is driven by the fact that access to
Global Navigation Satellite Systems like GPS are not guaranteed in hostile
situations. ISRO plans to launch the constellation of satellites between 2012 and
2014.

ISRO on 1 July 2013, at 23:41Hrs IST launched from Sriharikota the First Indian
Navigation Satellite the IRNSS-1A. The IRNSS-1A was launched aboard PSLV-C22.
The constellation would be comprising 7 satellites of I-1K bus each weighing around
1450 Kilograms, with three satellites in the Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and 4 in
Geosynchronous Earth Orbit(GSO). The constellation would be completed around
2015.[49]

On 4 April 2014, at 17:14 Hrs IST ISRO has launched IRNSS-1B from Sriharikota, its
second of seven IRNSS series. After 19 mins of launch PSLV-C24 was successfully
injected into its orbit.[50]

Human spaceflight programme[edit]

Indian Navy Frogmen recovering the SRE-1

Main article: Indian human spaceflight programme

The Indian Space Research Organisation has proposed a budget of INR124 billion
(US$2.0 billion) for its human spaceflight programme.[51] According to the Space
Commission which recommended the budget, an unmanned flight will be launched
after 7 years of final approval.[52] and a manned mission will be launch after 7
years of funding.[53][54] If realised in the stated time-frame, India will become the
fourth nation, after the USSR, US and China, to successfully carry out manned
missions indigenously.
Technology demonstration[edit]

The Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SCRE or more commonly SRE or SRE-1)
[55] is an experimental Indian spacecraft which was launched using the PSLV C7
rocket, along with three other satellites. It remained in orbit for 12 days before re-
entering the Earth's atmosphere and splashing down into the Bay of Bengal.[56]
The SRE-1 was designed to demonstrate the capability to recover an orbiting space
capsule, and the technology for performing experiments in the microgravity
conditions of an orbiting platform. It was also intended to test thermal protection,
navigation, guidance, control, deceleration and flotation systems, as well as study
hypersonic aero-thermodynamics, management of communication blackouts, and
recovery operations. ISRO also plans to launch SRE-2 and SRE-3 in the near future
to test advanced re-entry technology for future manned missions.[57]

Astronaut training and other facilities[edit]

ISRO will set up an astronaut training centre in Bengaluru to prepare personnel for
flights on board the crewed vehicle. The centre will use simulation facilities to train
the selected astronauts in rescue and recovery operations and survival in zero
gravity, and will undertake studies of the radiation environment of space. ISRO will
build centrifuges to prepare astronauts for the acceleration phase of the mission. It
also plans to build a new Launch pad to meet the target of launching a manned
space mission in 7 years of funding clearance. This would be the third launchpad at
the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

Development of crew vehicle[edit]

Main article: ISRO Orbital Vehicle

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working towards a maiden


manned Indian space mission vehicle that can carry three astronauts for seven days
in a near earth orbit. The Indian manned spacecraft temporarily named as Orbital
Vehicle intends to be the basis of indigenous Indian human spaceflight programme.
The capsule will be designed to carry three people, and a planned upgraded version
will be equipped with a rendezvous and docking capability. In its maiden manned
mission, ISRO's largely autonomous 3-ton capsule will orbit the Earth at 400 km in
altitude for up to seven days with a two-person crew on board. The crew vehicle
would launch atop of ISRO's GSLV Mk II, currently under development. The GSLV Mk
II features an indigenously developed cryogenic upper-stage engine.[58] The first
test of the cryogenic engine, held on 15 April 2010, failed as the cryogenic phase
did not perform as expected and rocket deviated from the planned trajectory.[59]
However the second test of the indigenous cryogenic engine was successful on 5
January 2014.[60]

Planetary sciences and astronomy[edit]

India's space era dawned when the first two-stage sounding rocket was launched
from Thumba in 1963. Even before this, noteworthy contributions were made by the
Indian scientists in the following areas of space science research:[citation needed]

Cosmic rays and high energy astronomy using both ground based as well as balloon
borne experiments/studies such as neutron/meson monitors, Geiger Muller particle
detectors/counters etc.

Ionospheric research using ground based radio propagation techniques such as


ionosonde, VLF/HF/VHF radio probing, a chain of magnetometer stations etc.

Upper atmospheric research using ground based optical techniques such as Dobson
spectrometers for measurement of total ozone content, air glow photometers etc.

Indian astronomers have been carrying out major investigations using a number of
ground based optical and radio telescopes with varying sophistication.

With the advent of the Indian space programme, emphasis was laid on indigenous,
self-reliant and state-of-the-art development of technology for immediate practical
applications in the fields of space science research activities in the country.

There is a national balloon launching facility at Hyderabad jointly supported by TIFR


and ISRO. This facility has been extensively used for carrying out research in high
energy (i.e., X- and gamma ray) astronomy, IR astronomy, middle atmospheric trace
constituents including CFCs & aerosols, ionisation, electric conductivity and electric
fields.[citation needed]

The flux of secondary particles and X-ray and gamma-rays of atmospheric origin
produced by the interaction of the cosmic rays is very low. This low background, in
the presence of which one has to detect the feeble signal from cosmic sources is a
major advantage in conducting hard X-ray observations from India. The second
advantage is that many bright sources like Cyg X-1, Crab Nebula, Scorpius X-1 and
Galactic Centre sources are observable from Hyderabad due to their favourable
declination. With these considerations, an X-ray astronomy group was formed at
TIFR in 1967 and development of an instrument with an orientable X-ray telescope
for hard X-ray observations was undertaken. The first balloon flight with the new
instrument was made on 28 April 1968 in which observations of Scorpius X-1 were
successfully carried out. In a succession of balloon flights made with this instrument
between 1968 and 1974 a number of binary X-ray sources including Scorpius X-1,
Cyg X-1, Her X-1 etc. and the diffuse cosmic X-ray background were studied. Many
new and astrophysically important results were obtained from these observations.
[61]

One of most important achievements of ISRO in this field was the discovery of three
species of bacteria in the upper stratosphere at an altitude of between 2040 km.
The bacteria, highly resistant to ultra-violet radiation, are not found elsewhere on
Earth, leading to speculation on whether they are extraterrestrial in origin. These
three bacteria can be considered to be extremophiles. Until then, the upper
stratosphere was believed to be inhospitable because of the high doses of ultra-
violet radiation. The bacteria were named as Bacillus isronensis in recognition of
ISRO's contribution in the balloon experiments, which led to its discovery, Bacillus
aryabhata after India's celebrated ancient astronomer Aryabhata and Janibacter
Hoylei after the distinguished astrophysicist Fred Hoyle.[62]

Extraterrestrial exploration[edit]

ISRO had a mostly successful Moon mission from 2008 to 2009. A mission to Mars
started in 2013 and will last till 2015.

First mission to the Moon: Chandrayaan-1[edit]

Model of the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.

Chandrayaan-1 was India's first mission to the Moon. The unmanned lunar
exploration mission included a lunar orbiter and an impactor called the Moon Impact
Probe. ISRO launched the spacecraft using a modified version of the PSLV on 22
October 2008 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The vehicle was
successfully inserted into lunar orbit on 8 November 2008. It carried high-resolution
remote sensing equipment for visible, near infrared, and soft and hard X-ray
frequencies. During its 312 days operational period (2 years planned), it surveyed
the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and 3-
dimensional topography. The polar regions were of special interest, as they possibly
had ice deposits. The spacecraft carried a total of 11 instruments: 5 Indian and 6
from foreign institutes and space agencies (including NASA, ESA, Bulgarian
Academy of Sciences, Brown University and other European and North American
institutes/companies) which were carried free of cost. Chandrayaan-1 became the
first lunar mission to discover existence of water on the Moon.[63] The
Chandrayaan-1 team was awarded the American Institute of Aeronautics and
Astronautics SPACE 2009 award,[64] the International Lunar Exploration Working
Group's International Co-operation award in 2008,[65] and the National Space
Society's 2009 Space Pioneer Award in the science and engineering category.[66]
[67]

Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalayaan)[edit]

Artist's rendering of the Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft, with Mars in the
background.

The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), informally known as 'Mangalayaan' was launched
into Earth orbit on 5 November 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation
(ISRO) and has entered Mars orbit on 24 September 2014.[68] India is the first
country to enter Mars orbit in first attempt. It was completed at a record cost of $74
million.[69]

MOM was successfully placed into Mars orbit on September 24, 2014 at 8:23 AM IST.
It has a highly elliptical orbit with a periapsis of 421.7 km (262.0 mi) and an
apoapsis of 76,993.6 km (47,841.6 mi).

The spacecraft had a launch mass of 1,337 kg (2,948 lb), with 15 kg (33 lb) of five
scientific instruments as payload.

The National Space Society awarded the Mars Orbiter Mission team the 2015 Space
Pioneer Award in the science and engineering category.[70][71]

Future projects[edit]

A model of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle III.


A model of the RLV-TD

ISRO plans to launch a number of new-generation Earth Observation Satellites in


the near future. It will also undertake the development of new launch vehicles and
spacecraft. ISRO has stated that it will send unmanned missions to Mars and Near-
Earth Objects. ISRO has planned 58 missions during 201217; 33 satellites missions
in next two years and 25 launch vehicles missions thereafter, costing INR200 billion
(US$3 billion).[72]

Forthcoming Satellites

Satellite Name Details

ASTROSAT ASTROSAT is a first dedicated Indian Astronomy satellite mission,


which will enable multi-wavelength observations of the celestial bodies and cosmic
sources in X-ray and UV spectral bands simultaneously. The scientific payloads
cover the Visible (35006000 ), UV (13003000 ), soft and hard X-ray regimes
(0.58 keV; 380 keV). The uniqueness of ASTROSAT lies in its wide spectral
coverage extending over visible, UV, soft and hard X-ray regions.

GSAT-6 / INSAT-4E The primary goal of GSAT-6/INSAT-4E, which is a Multimedia


broadcast satellite, is to cater to the consumer requirements of providing
entertainment and information services to vehicles through Digital Multimedia
consoles and to the Multimedia mobile Phones. The satellite carries a 5 spot beam
BSS and 5 spot beam MSS. It will be positioned at 83 East longitude with a mission
life of 12 years.

GSAT-7/INSAT-4F It is a multi-band satellite carrying payloads in UHF, S-band, C-


band and Ku band. The satellite weighs 2330 kg with a payload power of 2000W and
mission life of 9 years.

GSAT-9 GSAT-9 will carry 6 C band and 24 Ku band transponders with India
coverage beam. The satellite is planned to be launched during 201112 with a
mission life of 12 years and positioned at 48 East longitude. This I-2K satellite has a
liftoff mass of 2330 kg and payload power of 2300 W.

GSAT-11 GSAT-11 is based on I-4K bus which is under advanced stage of


development. The spacecraft can generate 1012 KW of power and can support
payload power of 8KW. The payload configuration is on-going. It consists of 16 spot
beams covering entire country including Andaman & Nicobar islands. The
communication link to the user-end terminals operate in Ku-band while the
communication link to the hubs operate in Ka-band. The payload is configured to be
operated as a high data throughput satellite, to be realised in orbit in 2013 time
frame.

GSAT-15 GSAT-15 is an Indian communication satellite similar to GSAT-10 to


augment the capacity of transponders to provided more bandwidth for Direct-to-
Home television and VSAT services. The satellite will be the 10th one in the series of
GSAT satellites.

NISAR Nasa-Isro Synthetic Aperture Radar (Nisar) is a joint project between NASA
and ISRO to co-develop and launch a dual frequency synthetic aperture radar
satellite to be used for remote sensing. It is notable for being the first dual band
radar imaging satellite.

Future launch vehicles[edit]

Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD)[edit]

As a first step towards realising a Two Stage To Orbit (TSTO) fully re-usable launch
vehicle, a series of technology demonstration missions have been conceived. For
this purpose a Winged Reusable Launch Vehicle technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD)
has been configured. The RLV-TD will act as a flying test bed to evaluate various
technologies viz., hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, powered cruise flight and
hypersonic flight using air-breathing propulsion. First in the series of demonstration
trials is the hypersonic flight experiment (HEX).

Extraterrestrial exploration[edit]

ISRO's missions beyond Earth's orbit include Chandrayaan-1 (to the Moon) and Mars
Orbiter Mission (to Mars). ISRO plans to follow up with Chandrayaan-2 and missions
to Venus and near-Earth objects such as asteroids and comets.

Chandrayaan-2[edit]

Chandrayaan-2 (Sanskrit: -) will be India mission to the Moon will include an


orbiter and lander-rover module. Chandrayaan-2 will be launched on India's
Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-MkII) around 2016 - 2017
timeframe.[73] The science goals of the mission are to further improve the
understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon.

Solar exploration programme[edit]

Main article: Aditya (spacecraft)


ISRO plans to carry out a mission to the Sun by the year 2015-16. The probe is
named as Aditya-1 and will weigh about 400 kg.[74] It is the First Indian space
based Solar Coronagraph to study solar Corona in visible and near IR bands. Launch
of the Aditya mission was planned during the high solar activity period in 2012 but
was postponed to 20152016 due to the extensive work involved in the fabrication
and other technical aspects . The main objectives is to study the Coronal Mass
Ejection (CME) and consequently the crucial physical parameters for space weather
such as the coronal magnetic field structures, evolution of the coronal magnetic
field etc. This will provide completely new information on the velocity fields and
their variability in the inner corona having an important bearing on the unsolved
problem of heating of the corona would be obtained.

Space science missions[edit]

Space Capsule Recovery Experiment II: The main objective of SRE II is to realise a
fully recoverable capsule and provide a platform to conduct microgravity
experiments on Micro-biology, Agriculture, Powder Metallurgy, etc. SRE-2 is
proposed to be launched on board PSLV.

Applications[edit]

Telecommunication[edit]

India uses its satellites communication network one of the largest in the world
for applications such as land management, water resources management, natural
disaster forecasting, radio networking, weather forecasting, meteorological imaging
and computer communication.[75] Business, administrative services, and schemes
such as the National Informatics Centre (NICNET) are direct beneficiaries of applied
satellite technology.[76] Dinshaw Mistry, on the subject of practical applications of
the Indian space programme, writes:

"The INSAT-2 satellites also provide telephone links to remote areas; data
transmission for organisations such as the National Stock Exchange; mobile satellite
service communications for private operators, railways, and road transport; and
broadcast satellite services, used by India's state-owned television agency as well
as commercial television channels. India's EDUSAT (Educational Satellite), launched
aboard the GSLV in 2004, was intended for adult literacy and distance learning
applications in rural areas. It augmented and would eventually replace such
capabilities already provided by INSAT-3B."

Resource management[edit]
The IRS satellites have found applications with the Indian Natural Resource
Management programme, with regional Remote Sensing Service Centres in five
Indian cities, and with Remote Sensing Application Centres in twenty Indian states
that use IRS images for economic development applications. These include
environmental monitoring, analysing soil erosion and the impact of soil conservation
measures, forestry management, determining land cover for wildlife sanctuaries,
delineating groundwater potential zones, flood inundation mapping, drought
monitoring, estimating crop acreage and deriving agricultural production estimates,
fisheries monitoring, mining and geological applications such as surveying metal
and mineral deposits, and urban planning.

Military[edit]

India's satellites and satellite launch vehicles have had military spin-offs. While
India's 93124-mile (150250 km) range Prithvi missile is not derived from the
Indian space programme, the intermediate range Agni missile is drawn from the
Indian space programme's SLV-3. In its early years, when headed by Vikram
Sarabhai and Satish Dhawan, ISRO opposed military applications for its dual-use
projects such as the SLV-3. Eventually, however, the Defence Research and
Development Organisation(DRDO)based missile programme borrowed human
resources and technology from ISRO. Missile scientist DrA.P.J. Abdul Kalam (elected
president of India in 2002), who had headed the SLV-3 project at ISRO, moved to
DRDO to direct India's missile programme. About a dozen scientists accompanied
Kalam from ISRO to DRDO, where he designed the Agni missile using the SLV-3's
solidfuel first stage and a liquid-fuel (Prithvi-missile-derived) second stage. The IRS
and INSAT satellites were primarily intended and used for civilian-economic
applications, but they also offered military spin-offs. In 1996 New Delhi's Ministry of
Defence temporarily blocked the use of IRS-1C by India's environmental and
agricultural ministries in order to monitor ballistic missiles near India's borders. In
1997 the Indian air force's "Airpower Doctrine" aspired to use space assets for
surveillance and battle management.[77]

Academic[edit]

Institutions like the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and the Indian
Institutes of Technology use satellites for scholarly applications.[78] Between 1975
and 1976, India conducted its largest sociological programme using space
technology, reaching 2400 villages through video programming in local languages
aimed at educational development via ATS-6 technology developed by NASA.[79]
This experimentnamed Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE)
conducted large scale video broadcasts resulting in significant improvement in rural
education.[79] Full Credit should go to ISRO for open education revolution in India .
Education could reach far remote rural places with the help of above programmes.

Telemedicine[edit]

ISRO has applied its technology to "telemedicine", directly connecting patients in


rural areas to medical professionals in urban locations via satellites.[78] Since high-
quality healthcare is not universally available in some of the remote areas of India,
the patients in remote areas are diagnosed and analysed by doctors in urban
centres in real time via video conferencing.[78] The patient is then advised
medicine and treatment.[78] The patient is then treated by the staff at one of the
'super-specialty hospitals' under instructions from the doctor.[78] Mobile
telemedicine vans are also deployed to visit locations in far-flung areas and provide
diagnosis and support to patients.[78]

Biodiversity Information System[edit]

ISRO has also helped implement India's Biodiversity Information System, completed
in October 2002.[80] Nirupa Sen details the programme: "Based on intensive field
sampling and mapping using satellite remote sensing and geospatial modelling
tools, maps have been made of vegetation cover on a 1 : 250,000 scale. This has
been put together in a web-enabled database which links gene-level information of
plant species with spatial information in a BIOSPEC database of the ecological hot
spot regions, namely northeastern India, Western Ghats, Western Himalayas and
Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This has been made possible with collaboration
between the Department of Biotechnology and ISRO."[80]

Cartography[edit]

The Indian IRS-P5 (CARTOSAT-1) was equipped with high-resolution panchromatic


equipment to enable it for cartographic purposes.[15] IRS-P5 (CARTOSAT-1) was
followed by a more advanced model named IRS-P6 developed also for agricultural
applications.[15] The CARTOSAT-2 project, equipped with single panchromatic
camera which supported scene-specific on-spot images, succeed the CARTOSAT-1
project.[81]

International co-operation[edit]

ISRO has had international cooperation since inception. Some instances are listed
below:
Establishment of TERLS, conduct of SITE & STEP, launches of Aryabhata, Bhaskara,
APPLE, IRS-IA and IRS-IB/ satellites, manned space mission, etc. involved
international cooperation.

ISRO operates LUT/MCC under the international COSPAS/SARSAT Programme for


Search and Rescue.

India has established a Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia
and the Pacific (CSSTE-AP) that is sponsored by the United Nations.

India hosted the Second UN-ESCAP Ministerial Conference on Space Applications for
Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific in November 1999.

India is a member of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer
Space, Cospas-Sarsat, International Astronautical Federation, Committee on Space
Research (COSPAR), Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC),
International Space University, and the Committee on Earth Observation Satellite
(CEOS).[82]

Chandrayaan-1 carried scientific payloads from NASA, ESA, Bulgarian Space


Agency, and other institutions/companies in North America and Europe.

The United States government on 24 January 2011, removed several Indian


government agencies, including ISRO, from the so-called Entity List, in an effort to
drive hi-tech trade and forge closer strategic ties with India.[83]

ISRO carries out joint operations with foreign space agencies, such as the Indo-
French Megha-Tropiques Mission.[82]

At the International Astronautical Congress 2014 at Toronto, ISRO chairman K.


Radhakrishnan and NASA administrator Charles Bolden signed two documents. One
was regarding the 2020 launch of a NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR)
satellite mission to make global measurements of the causes and consequences of
land surface changes. The other was to establish a pathway for future joint missions
to explore Mars.[84]

Antrix Corporation, the commercial and marketing arm of ISRO, handles both
domestic and foreign deals.[85]

Formal co-operative arrangements in the form of memoranda of understanding or


framework agreements have been signed with the following:[86]
Argentina

Australia

Brazil

Brunei

Bulgaria

Canada

Chile

China

Egypt

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)

EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites)

European Space Agency

France

Germany

Hungary

Indonesia

Israel

Italy

Japan

Kazakhstan

Malaysia

Mauritius

Mongolia

Myanmar

Norway

Peru
South Korea

Russia

Saudi Arabia

Spain

Sweden

Syria

Thailand

Netherlands

Ukraine

United Kingdom

United States

Venezuela

In the 39th Scientific Assembly of Committee on Space Research held in Mysore, the
ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan called upon international synergy in space
missions in view of their prohibitive cost. He also mentioned that ISRO is gearing up
to meet the growing demand of service providers, security agencies, etc. in a cost
effective manner.[87]

Foreign satellites launched by ISRO[edit]

As of December 2014, ISRO has launched over 30 foreign satellites using the Polar
Satellite Launch Vehicle. Though reliable, the PSLV can not launch satellites having
mass greater than 1600 kg.[88] ISRO is developing its Geosynchronous Satellite
Launch Vehicle for launching heavier satellites. Those foreign satellites that had a
launch mass of 100 kg or more are listed below.[89]

No. Satellite's name Country of origin Date of launch Launch mass (kg)
Launch vehicle Other information Reference(s)

1. KITSAT-3 Republic of Korea 26 May 1999107 PSLV-C2 Main


payload was India's IRS-P4 (OCEANSAT) (mass 1050 kg). Launch vehicle also placed
into orbit Germany's DLR-TUBSAT (mass 45 kg). PSLV's 2nd operational launch.
[90]
2. AGILE Italy 23 April 2007 350 PSLV-C8 ISRO's 1st commercial
launch (foreign satellite as the main payload). PSLV's 11th flight. [91]

3. TecSAR Israel 21 January 2008 300 PSLV-C10 ISRO's 2nd


commercial launch (foreign satellite as the main payload). PSLV's 12th launch.
[92]

4. ALSAT-2A Algeria 12 July 2010 116 PSLV-C15 Main payload was


India's CARTOSAT-2B (mass 694 kg). Launch vehicle also placed into orbit Canada's
NLS6.1 AISSAT-1 (mass 6.5 kg) and Switzerland's NLS6.2 TISAT-1 (mass 1 kg). PSLV's
17th flight. [93]

5. X-Sat Singapore 20 April 2011 106 PSLV-C16 Main payload was


India's RESOURCESAT-2 (mass 1206 kg). Launch vehicle also placed into orbit the
Indo-Russian YOUTHSAT (mass 92 kg). PSLV's 18th flight. [94]

6. SPOT-6 France 9 September 2012 712 PSLV-C21 ISRO's 3rd


commercial launch (foreign satellite as main payload). Launch vehicle also placed
into orbit Japan's PROITERES (mass 15 kg). PSLV's 22nd flight. [95][96]

7. Sapphire Canada 25 February 2013 148 PSLV-C20 Main


payload was the Indo-French satellite SARAL (mass 409 kg). Launch vehicle also
placed into orbit Canada's NEOSSAT (mass 74 kg), Austria's NLS8.1 and NLS8.2
(mass 14 kg each), Denmark's NLS8.3 (mass 3 kg), and United Kingdom's STRAND-1
(mass 6.5 kg). PSLV's 23rd flight. [97][98]

8. SPOT-7 France 30 June 2014 714 PSLV-C23 ISRO's 4th


commercial launch (foreign satellite as the main payload). Launch vehicle also
placed into orbit Germany's AISAT (mass 14 kg), Canada's NLS7.1 (CAN-X4) and
NLS7.2 (CAN-X5) (mass 15 kg each) and Singapore's VELOX-1 (mass 7 kg). PSLV's
10th flight in 'core-alone' configuration (i.e. without the use of solid strap-on
motors). [89][99]

ISRO satellites launched by foreign agencies[edit]

51015202530Communication satellitesEarth observation satellitesExperimental


satellitesOther

Ariane

Interkosmos

Vostok

Molniya

Delta
Space Shuttle

Several ISRO satellites have been launched by foreign space agencies (of Europe,
USSR / Russia, and USA). The details (as of February 2015) are given in the table
below.

Launch vehicle family No. of ISRO satellites launched

Communication satellites Earth observation satellites Experimental satellites


Other Total

Europe

Ariane18 0 1 0 19

USSR / Russia

Interkosmos 0 2 1 0 3

Vostok 0 2 0 0 2

Molniya 0 1 0 0 1

USA

Delta 2 0 0 0 2

Space Shuttle 1 0 0 0 1

Total 21 5 2 0 28

Those ISRO satellites that had a launch mass of 3000 kg or more, and were
launched by foreign agencies, are listed in the table below.

No. Satellite's name Launch vehicle Launch agency Country / region of


launch agency Launch date Launch mass Power Orbit type Mission life
Other information Reference(s)

1. INSAT-4A Ariane5-V169 Arianespace Europe 22 December 2005


3081 kg with propellants

(1386.55 kg dry mass) 5922 W Geosynchronous 12 years For


communication. [100]
2. INSAT-4B Ariane 5 Arianespace Europe 12 March 2007 3025
kg with propellants 5859 W Geosynchronous 12 years Exclusively for
communication. [101]

3. GSAT-8 Ariane-5 VA-202 Arianespace Europe 21 May 20113093


kg with propellants (1426 kg dry mass) 6242 W Geosynchronous More
than 12 years Advanced, high power, communication satellite. [102]

4. GSAT-10 Ariane-5 VA-209 Arianespace Europe 29 September


2010 3400 kg with propellants (1498 kg dry mass) 6474 W Geosynchronous
15 years For communication. [103]

5. GSAT-16 Ariane-5 VA-221 Arianespace Europe 7 December 2014


3181.6 kg with propellants 6000 W Geosynchronous 12 years
Advanced communication satellite. Configured to carry 48 communication
transponders, the most in any ISRO communication satellite so far. [104]

Controversies[edit]

S-band spectrum scam[edit]

In India, electromagnetic spectrum, being a scarce resource for wireless


communication, is auctioned by the Government of India to telecom companies for
use. As an example of its value, in 2010, 20 MHz of 3G spectrum was auctioned for
INR67700 crore (US$11 billion). However, in January 2005, Antrix Corporation
(commercial arm of ISRO) signed a secret agreement with Devas Multimedia (a
private company formed by former ISRO employees) for lease of S band
transponders (amounting to 70 MHz of spectrum) on two ISRO satellites (GSAT 6
and GSAT 6A) for a price of INR1400 crore (US$220 million), to be paid over a period
of 12 years. If this 70 MHz of spectrum was sold at the 2010 auction price of the 3G
spectrum, its value would be over INR200000 crore (US$32 billion). Thus, the
Comptroller and Auditor General of India considered the difference between the
prices as a loss to the Indian Government.[105][106][107]

Antrix/ISRO had committed INR 800 crores on two satellites with unusual
concessions. ISRO was committing large funds for unproven technology and with
players who had very little stakes.

B. K. Chaturvedi, former cabinet secretary, in his report, [105]

Antrix/ISRO had allocated capacity of the above two satellites to Devas Multimedia
on an exclusive basis, while rules said it should always be non-exclusive. The
Cabinet was misinformed in November 2005 that several service providers were
interested in using satellite capacity, while the Devas deal was already signed. Also,
the Space Commission was kept in the dark while taking approval for the second
satellite (its cost was diluted so that Cabinet approval was not needed). ISRO
committed to spending INR766 crore (US$120 million) of public money on building,
launching and operating two satellites for Devas.[105]

Before signing the agreement with Antrix, Devas Multimedia had shareholding of
INR1 lakh (US$1,600) and two promoters (D. Venugopal and M. Umesh). Post deal,
the shareholding pattern quickly changed with one share of INR10 (16 US) going
for as much as INR1.26 lakh (US$2,000). Devas shares were sold at a premium of
INR12.26 lakh (US$19,000), taking the accumulated share premium to INR578 crore
(US$92 million). In July 2008, Devas offloaded 17% of its stake to German company
Deutsche Telekom for US$75 million, and by 2010 had 17 investors, including
former ISRO scientists. This is the same as private players buying spectrum cheap
and selling it for large profits.[105][106]

In late 2009, some ISRO insiders exposed information about the Devas-Antrix deal,
[107] and the ensuing investigations resulted in the deal being annulled. G.
Madhavan Nair (ISRO Chairperson when the agreement was signed) was barred
from holding any post under the Department of Space. Some former scientists were
found guilty of "acts of commission" or "acts of omission". Devas and Deutsche
Telekom demanded US$2 billion and US$1 billion, respectively, in damages.[108]
Government of India's Department of Revenue and Ministry of Corporate Affairs
initiated an inquiry into Devas shareholding.[105]

See also[edit]

Portal icon Government of India portal

Portal icon Spaceflight portal

Asian space race

AVATAR Reusable Launch Vehicle

Department of Space (India)

Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology

List of aerospace engineering topics

List of Indian satellites

List of government space agencies


Timeline of Solar System exploration

SPARRSO

List of ISRO missions

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References[edit]

Bhaskaranarayana etc. (2007), "Applications of space communication", Current


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Bangalore: Indian Academy of Sciences.

Sen, Nirupa (2003), "Indian success stories in use of Space tools for social
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"Space Research", Science and Technology in India edited by R.K. Suri and Kalapana
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Further reading[edit]

ISRO plans human colony on Moon; by Bibhu Ranjan Mishra in Bangalore; 18


December 2007; Rediff India Abroad (Rediff.com)

The Economics of India's Space Programme, by U.Sankar, Oxford University Press,


New Delhi, 2007, ISBN.13:978-0-19-568345-5
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