India recently launched multiple Satellites – Are we making enough progress?

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Nikunj Mall, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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– Are we making enough progress?

Yes. Within a few period of time we have launched multiple satellites and all goes in the way of success. India as a developing country goes a fine balancing progress in all aspects of space programmes. If we look into the recent launches we can notice that many are micro satellites but all are our technological success.

Space is a harsh environment filled with various kinds of radiations and so many particles float around. The only way we can explore this wonderful space is to sit here on earth and carry on our observations with the help of launch vehicles, satellites.

Satellites have become a part of humankind in recent times. This enables communication global. India uses these space systems (satellites) effectively for different purposes like communication, broadcasting, education, natural calamity warning, agriculture and natural resources management.

India started it’s first successful satellite launch by the Soviets in 1957. India is amongst the first few countries to realize the potential of space technology and its applications. Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, pioneer of the Indian space programme, under whose chairmanship, the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was formed in 1962 and by 1972, the Indian Space Programme was formally organised with the setting up of the Space Commission and government funding through the Department of Space.

A major development took place during 1980’s, through establishment of the operational Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system. India became one of the few countries to develop its own operational Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS-1A) in March 1988. IRS-1C and IRS-1D, are the best civilian remote sensing satellites in the world. IRS-P4 (OCEANSAT-1) launched in May 1999 is used for Ocean Resources monitoring and for understanding the atmosphere over the oceans.

Data collected from IRS is used for estimation of acreage and yield of important crops other applications such as forest survey, forecasting, urban planning, alignment of roads and pipelines, detection of underground fires in collieries, marine resources survey, mineral prospecting, etc.

India besides building satellites, embarked on satellite launch vehicle development. The first experimental launch vehicle SLV-3 was launched by India in 1980. An augmented version of this vehicle, ASLV, was launched successfully in 1992. India then acquired a significant capability in the launch vehicle area with the successful development of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV.

Mesosphere, Stratosphere and Troposphere (MST) radar has been established at Gadanki near Tirupati for conducting atmospheric research with high resolution. ISRO has enabled participation of scientists in major international science campaigns like monsoon experiment (MONEX), middle atmospheric program (MAP), ISTEP, INDOEX etc. by providing the financial, technological and other assistance.

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