ISRO stands for Indian Space Research Organization. ISRO is our nation’s pride which helped our country to move a step forward in the field of space research and development. The funding for the space agency is done by Central Government of India.
The Indian Space Research Organization is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bangalore. The vision of ISRO is to “harness space technology for national development while performing space science research and planetary exploration.”
ISRO was formed in 1962 by the efforts of independent India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and his close aide and scientist Vikram Sarabhai. The establishment of ISRO helps in increasing space activities in India. It is managed by the Department of Space, which further provides reports to the Prime Minister of India.
Achievements of ISRO –
Aryabhata, which was India’s first satellite build by ISRO that was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975. It was named after the former Mathematician Aryabhata.
In 1980, Rohini was launched which was the first satellite to be placed in orbit by an Indian-made launch vehicle which was SLV-3.
ISRO subsequently developed two other rockets named as 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 were used to launch numerous communications satellites and earth observation satellites in the space. Satellite navigation systems like GAGAN and IRNSS have been also came into use.
On January 2014, an indigenous cryogenic engine was used by ISRO in a GSLV-D5 launch of the GSAT-14.
A lunar orbiter, Chandrayaan-1, on 22 October 2008 and a Mars orbiter, Mars Orbiter Mission, on 5 November 2013, which entered Mars orbit on 24 September 2014, Was also send by ISRO which marked India the first nation to succeed on its first attempt to Mars, and ISRO the fourth space agency in the world as well as the first space agency in Asia to reach Mars orbit.
On 18 June 2016 ISRO set a record with a launch of 20 satellites in a single payload, among them there was a one satellite from Google also.
On 15 February 2017, a world record was again created by ISRO after launching 104 satellites in a single rocket named (PSLV-C37).
ISRO launched its heaviest rocket on 5 June 2017 and placed a communications satellite GSAT-19 in orbit. With this launch, it was proved that ISRO is capable of launching 4 ton heavy satellites.
Launch Vehicles of ISRO
1. Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV)
The Satellite Launch Vehicle is 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 approximate 500 km and to carry a payload of 40 kg. Its first launch took place in 1979 with 2 more in each subsequent year, and the final launch was performed in 1983. Only two of its four test flights were successful at that time.
2. Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV)
The Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle is usually known by its abbreviation ASLV. It was a 5-stage solid propellant rocket with the capability of placing an approximate weight of 150 kg satellite into Low Earth Orbit.
This project was started by the ISRO during the early 1980s to develop technologies that were needed for a payload to be placed into a geostationary orbit. Its design was taken or we can say based on Satellite Launch Vehicle. The first launch test was held in 1987, and after that 3 others were performed in 1988, 1992 and 1994, out of which only 2 were successful, before it was decommissioned.
3. Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is commonly known by its abbreviation PSLV. It is an expendable launch system developed by ISRO to allow India to launch its Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites into Sun synchronous orbits. PSLV can also be used to 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. The maximum number of satellites launched by the PSLV in a single launch is 104 which was in the PSLV-C37 that was launched on 15 February 2017.
4. Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)
The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle is usually known by its abbreviation GSLV. It 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. Talking about present time, it is ISRO’s second-heaviest satellite launch vehicle which is capable of putting a total payload of up to 5 tons to Low Earth Orbit. The vehicle is totally built by India, originally with a cryogenic engine purchased from Russia. Now the ISRO develops its own cryogenic engine.
The first version of the GSLV (GSLV Mk. I) was using the Russian cryogenic stage which became operational in 2004 and after an unsuccessful first launch in 2001 and a second successful development launch was performed in 2003.
The first attempt to launch the GSLV Mk. II with an Indian built cryogenic engine which was GSLV-F06 which was carrying GSAT-5P failed on 25 December 2010. It was due to the loss of control for the strap-on boosters. Hence it caused the rocket to veer from its intended flight path, forcing a programmed detonation.
5. Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (GSLV III)
GSLV-Mk III is a launch vehicle. It is capable of launching four ton satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbit. GSLV-Mk III is a three-stage vehicle with a 110 tons core liquid propellant stage (L-110). And is flanked by two 200 ton solid propellant strap-on booster motors (S-200).
The upper stage is cryogenic with a propellant loading of 25 ton (C-25). The vehicle has a lift-off mass of about 640 tons and be 43.43 meters tall. According to ISRO, the payload fairing has a diameter of 5 meters and a payload volume of 100 cubic meters. It allows India to become self-dependent for heavy lifting without using foreign equipment.
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