Milestones in Indian Space Programmes

India has launched 81 Indian satellites (as of 20 January 2016) of many types since its first in 1975. Satellites have been launched from various vehicles, including those launched by American, Russian and European rockets, as well as those launched indigenously by India.The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is responsible for India's satellite programs.

The establishment of Indian national committee for space research (INCOSPAR) in 1962 marked the beginning of Indian space programme. The Indian space programme was institutionalized in November, 1969 with the formation of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). From the last 5 decades, ISRO has launched more than 80 satellites for various scientific and technological applications like mobile communication, direct to home services, meteorological observations, telemedicine, telecommunication, disaster warning, radio networking, remote sensing etc.


Milestones in Indian Space Programme


Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) formed and works on establishing Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) started.


First sounding rocket launch from TERLS (November 21, 1963).


Space Science and Technology Centre (SSTC) established in Thumba.


TERLS dedicated to the United Nations (February 2, 1968).


Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) formed (August 15, 1969).


Space Commission and Department of Space set up. ISRO brought under DoS (June 1, 1972)


ISRO becomes Government Organization (April 1, 1975).

First Indian Satellite, Aryabhatta, launched (April 19, 1975). It was launched by u-11 Interkosmos vehicle.


Bhaskara-I, an experimental satellite for earth observations, launched (June 7, 1979). First Experimental launch of SLV-3 with Rohini Technology Payload on board (August 10, 1979). Satellite could not be placed in orbit.


Second Experimental launch of SLV-3. Rohini satellite successfully placed in orbit (July 18,1980).


First developmental launch of SLV-3. RS-D1 placed in orbit (May 31, 1981). APPLE, an experimental geostationary communication satellite successfully launched (June 19, 1981). Bhaskara-lllaunched (November 20,1981).


INSAT-1A launched (April 10, 1982). Deactivated on September 6,1982.


Second developmental launch of SLV-3. RS-D2 placed in orbit (April 17, 1983).
I NSAT-1B, launched (August 30, 1983).


Indo-Soviet manned space mission (April 1984).


First developmental launch of ASLV with SROSS-1 satellite on board (March 24, 1987). Satellite could not be placed in orbit.


Launch of first operational Indian Remote Sensing Satellite, IRS-1 A (March 17, 1988). Second developmental launch of ASLV with SROSS-2 on board (July 13,1988). Satellite could not be placed in orbit. INSAT-1 C launched (July 22, 1988). Abandoned in November 1989.


INSAT-1 D launched (June 12, 1990). Identical to INSAT-1A. Still in service. A third stage motor landed from its launch, landed in Australia in 2008.  It was launched by Delta 4925 vehicle.


3rd developmental launch of ASLV with SROSS-C on board (May 20, 1992). Satellite placed in orbit.
I NSAT-2A, the first satellite of the indigenously-built second-generation INSAT series, launched
(July 10, 1992).


I NSAT-2B, the second satellite in INSAT-2 series, launched (July 23,1993). First developmental launch of PSLV with IRS-1 E on board (September 20, 1993). Satellite could
not be placed in orbit.


INSAT-2C, the third satellite in I NSAT-2 series, launched (December 7,1995).Launch of third operational Indian Remote Sensing Satellite, IRS-1 C (December 28, 1995).


INSAT-2E, the last satellite in the multipurpose INSAT-2 series, launched by Ariane from Kourou Island, French Guiana (April 3, 1999).

Indian Remote Sensing Satellite, IRS-P4 (OCEANSAT-1), launched by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C2) along with Korean KITSAT-3 and German DLR- TUBSAT from Sriharikota (May 26, 1999).


Successful flight test of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) (April 18, 2001) with an experimental satellite GSAT-1 on board. Successful launch of PSLV-C3 (October 22, 2001) placing three satellites - India's TES, Belgian
PROBA and German BIRD, into Polar sun-synchronous orbit.


Successful launch of INSAT-3A by Ariane from Kourou Island, French Guiana (April 10, 2003). Successful launch of second developmental test flight of GSLV (GSLV-D2) with GSAT-2 on board from SDSC SHAR (May 8, 2003). Successful launch of INSAT-3E by Ariane from Kourou Island,
French Guiana (September 28, 2003).

Successful launch of RESOURCESAT-1 by ISRO's PSLV-C5 from SDSC SHAR, (October 17, 2003).


Successful first operational flight of GSLV (GSLV-F01) from SDSC SHAR. EDUSAT placed in GTO (September 20, 2004).


Successful launch of the communication satellite, INSAT-4CR by GSLV-F04 from Satish Dhawan
Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota


PSLV-C10 successfully launches TECSAR satellite under a commercial contract with Antrix Corporation (January 21, 2008). PSLV-C9 successfully launches CARTOSAT-2A, IMS-1 and foreign nano satellites from Sriharikota (April 28, 2008). PSLV-C11 successfully launches
CHANDRAYAAN-1 from Sriharikota (October 22, 2008).


PSLV-C12 successfully launches RISAT-2 and ANUSAT from Sriharikota (April 20, 2009)


GSLV-D3 launched from Sriharikota (Apr 15, 2010). GSAT-4 satellite could not be placed in orbit as flight testing of the Indigenous Cryogenic Stage in GSLV-D3 Mission was not successful.

15 July 2011

GSAT-12 communication satellite built by ISRO, weighs about 1410 kg at lift-off. GSAT-12 is configured to carry 12 Extended C-band transponders to meet the country's growing demand for transponders in a short turn-around-time.The 12 Extended C-band transponders of GSAT-12 will augment the capacity in the INSAT system for various communication services like Tele-education, Telemedicine and for Village Resource Centres (VRC).Mission life About 8 Years.

26 April 2012

RISAT-1, first indigenous all-weather Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT-1), whose images will facilitate agriculture and disaster management weighs about 1858 kg.

25 February 2013

SARAL, The Satellite with ARGOS and ALTIKA (SARAL) is a joint Indo-French satellite mission for oceanographic studies. Launched by PSLV-C20.

1 July 2013           

IRNSS-1A is launched on 24 Sep 2014 satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). It is one of the seven spacecraft constituting the IRNSS space segment. Launched by PSLV-C22.

5 November 2013   

The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), informally called Mangalyaan is India's first Mars orbiter. Launched by PSLV-C25.

December 2014

GSAT-16 is twenty fourth communication satellite of India configured to carry a total of 48 communication transponders. Launched by Ariane-5.

28 March 2015

IRNSS-1D is the fourth satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). It is launched by PSLV-C27.

27 August 2015

GSAT-6 is a communication satellite. GSAT- 6 features an unfurlable antenna, largest on board any satellite. Launch of GSLV-D6 also marks the success of indigenously developed upper stage cryogenic engine. It is launched by GSLV-D6.

28 September 2015

ASTROSAT is India’s first dedicated multi wavelength space Observatory. It’s Launched by PSLV-C30.

11 November 2015

GSAT-15-Communications satellite carries communication transponders in Ku-band and a GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands. Weight 3164 Kg. ItsLaunched by Ariane 5 VA-227.

20 January 2016

IRNSS-1E is the fifth satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).There are 7 satellites of this series. it is launched by PSLV-C31.

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)

MOM was launched aboard PSLV C-25, which was an XL variant of the PSLV, one of world's most reliable launch vehicles. The XL variant was earlier used to launch Chandrayaan (2008), GSAT-12 (2011) and  RISAT-1. Based on the I-1-K satellite bus of ISRO that has proved its reliability over the years in Chandrayaan-1 and the IRS and INSAT series of satellites, the MOM spacecraft carries 850 kg of fuel and 5 science payloads.


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