Rocket parts were carried by the Isro scientists on bicycles and Bullock carts
APPLE satellite under testing in a makeshift test facility using a bullock cart. | The Nike-Apache rocket supplied by NASA, being brought to Thumba for assembly bicycles. | Many rocket parts were carried by the scientists on bicycles and Bullock carts from one place to another within the sprawling range of Thumba. Scientists traveled daily from Thiruvananthapuram in buses, carrying lunch bought at the railway station. - ISRO

How did ISRO become one of the world’s largest space organizations?, Know all about ISRO, from ISRO’s history to future projects, in this article

Establishment and Development of ISRO

ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) began in India in the 1920s, when scientist S.K. Mitra conducted several experiments for the sound of the ionosphere by implementing a land-based radio system in Kolkata. Later, other Indian scientists such as C.V. Raman and Meghnad Saha contributed significantly to the scientific principles applied in Space Science. The period after 1945 was a period when significant developments were made in space research in India.

Vikram Sarabhai

Vikram Sarabhai (the founder of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad) and Homi Bhabha (who founded the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in 1945.) were two scientists who first contributed significantly to the development of ISRO. Engineers from Indian Ordnance Factories were thus involved in the development of ISRO to demonstrate their knowledge of fuels and advanced metallurgy, which was done because of their expertise in propellants and advanced metallurgy at that time. The Ordnance Factories were the only organizations to receive them.

Space Science

Initial experiments in space science included the study of cosmic radiation. In addition, the high altitude and air tests, deep underground experiments in the Kolar mines, and the analysis of the upper atmosphere – studies were carried out at research laboratories, universities, and independent locations. This space research was further encouraged by the Government of India.

Department of Atomic Energy

In 1950, the Department of Atomic Energy was established, which was used to provide funds for space research across India. During this time, tests on meteorology and aspects of the Earth’s magnetic field continued. Studies on meteorology and the Earth’s magnetic field have been carried out since the establishment of the Observatory in Colaba in 1823. However, when the Soviet Union space organization, now known as Roscosmos, successfully launched Sputnik 1 in 1957, the possibilities opened for the rest of the world to launch space.

National Research Committee of India (INCOSPAR)

Thus, India decided to go into space when the Indian National Research Committee (INCOSPAR) was established in 1962 by the Government of India. Dr. Along with Vikram Sarabhai, INCOSPAR established Thumb Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station – TERLS) at Thiruvananthapuram for upper atmospheric studies.

Later INCOSPAR was named ISRO, and Indian Space Research Organization was formed in 1969. And Vikram Sarabhai provided the necessary direction to work in developing ISRO, recognizing the role and importance of space technology in developing a nation. Thus ISRO began to work on its mission to provide space-based services to the country and build Space Science technology independently.

Dr Sarabhai and Dr Kalam. A photograph from the early stages of the Indian space programme
Dr. Sarabhai and Dr. Kalam. A photograph from the early stages of the Indian space program.

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Aeronautical Development of the Defense Research and Development Organization (by Press Information Bureau, Government of India) as a scientist after completing his studies at Madras Institute of Technology in 1960, becoming a member of Abdul Kalam Defense Research and Development Service (DRDS) Joined the establishment. ). He started his career by designing a small hovercraft, but did not live up to his liking for a job at DRDO,

Kalam also became part of the INCOSPAR committee, working under the noted space scientist Vikram Sarabhai. In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), where he was the Project Director of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III), successfully launching the Rohini satellite into near-Earth orbit in July 1980. Posted. Kalam started work on an expandable rocket project independently in DRDO in 1965. In 1969, Kalam gained government approval and expanded the program to include more engineers.

Establishment of the Department of Space (DOS)

In 1972 the Government of India established a Space Commission and the Department of Space (DOS). Thus the establishment of ISRO institutionalized space research activities in India, managed by the Department of Space and reporting to the Prime Minister of India.

India’s first satellite “Aryabhata,” was followed by rockets – several communication satellites.

Aryabhata, India’s first satellite launched by the Soviet Union on April 19, 1975, was built by ISRO. And in 1980, Rohini became the first satellite to be placed into orbit by SLV-3, an Indian-made launch vehicle. ISRO later developed two other rockets to launch satellites into polar orbits, the first – the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle – PSLV and the second – the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (Geosynchronous) to place the satellites into geostationary orbits. Satellite Launch Vehicle – GSLV).

These rockets have launched several communication satellites and Earth observation satellites. In addition, satellite navigation systems such as GAGAN and IRNSS have also been found. In January 2014, ISRO also used an indigenous cryogenic engine at the GSLV-D5 launch of GSAT-14.


ISRO launched a lunar orbiter, Chandrayaan-1, into the lunar polar orbit on October 22, 2008, which later detected water on the Moon. And on November 5, 2013, a Mars orbiter, Mars Orbiter Mission which entered Mars orbit on September 24, 2014, became the first nation to succeed in its first attempt at Mars and the world’s fourth space agency as well as Mars Asia’s first space agency to reach orbit.

On June 18, 2016, ISRO launched twenty satellites in a single vehicle; on February 15, 2017, ISRO launched 104 satellites simultaneously in a rocket (PSLV-C37), a world record. Furthermore, ISRO launched its heaviest rocket, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-MK III), on June 5, 2017, and put the communication satellite GSAT-19 into orbit. With this launch, ISRO could launch 4 tons of heavy satellites in the GTO.

Chandrayaan -2

ISRO successfully launched the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft from GSLV MkIII-M1, the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle, on July 22, 2019. The mission was launched by Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) on July 22, 2019, at 2.43 am IST (09:13 UTC) from the second launch pad on the Moon. It reached the lunar orbit on August 20, 2019, and started the orbital position for the landing of Vikram Lander. The Vikram Rover was scheduled to conduct scientific experiments on latitudes near the Moon, about 70 ° south in the southern polar region, at about 1:50 am on September 7, 2019, for a lunar day.

However, the lander deviated from its intended trajectory, starting at an altitude of 2.1 kilometers (1.3 mi), and lost communication when the touchdown was confirmed. ISRO Chairman K. Sivan has confirmed in a preliminary report reporting a crash accident that the lander’s location has been found, and “it must have been a difficult landing.” “Orbiter,” part of the mission with eight scientific instruments, is on and will continue its seven-year mission to study the Moon.

To Serve the Nation

ISRO has retained its mission to bring a place in the service of the commoner to serve the nation. In the process, it has become one of the six largest space agencies worldwide. The largest fleet of ISRO communication satellites – INSAT and remote sensing – IRS satellites carry out communication satellites automatically, meeting the growing demand for fast and reliable communication and earth observation. In the modern era, ISRO develops and distributes satellite products and equipment specific to the nation. Broadcasting, communication, weather forecasting, disaster management tools, geographic information systems, cartography, navigation, telemedicine, and dedicated distance education satellites are some of them.

To achieve complete self-sufficiency in these applications, it was necessary to develop a cost-efficient and reliable launch system, which took shape as the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The famous PSLV has now moved on to become a preferred carrier for satellites from various countries due to its reliability and cost-efficiency, which promotes unprecedented economic cooperation. Therefore, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) was developed keeping in mind the heavy and high demand for geosynchronous communication satellites.

Besides technical capability, ISRO has contributed to the country’s science education. In general, various dedicated research centers and autonomous institutes for remote sensing, astronomy, astrophysics, atmospheric science, and space science function under the aegis of the Department of Space. In addition, ISRO’s lunar and interplanetary missions and other scientific projects promote scientific education and provide valuable data to the scientific community that enriches science.

List of all the satellites launched by ISRO so Far

List of all satellites launched by ISRO

S.No. Name Launch Date
1.Aryabhata Apr 19, 1975
2.Bhaskara-I Jun 07, 1979
3.Rohini Technology Payload (RTP) Aug 10, 1979
4.Rohini Satellite RS-1 Jul 18, 1980
5.Rohini Satellite RS-D1 May 31, 1981
6.APPLE Jun 19, 1981
7.Bhaskara-II Nov 20, 1981
8.INSAT-1A Apr 10, 1982
9.Rohini Satellite RS-D2 Apr 17, 1983
10.INSAT-1B Aug 30, 1983
11.SROSS-1 Mar 24, 1987
12.IRS-1A Mar 17, 1988
13.SROSS-2 Jul 13, 1988
14.INSAT-1C Jul 22, 1988
15.INSAT-1D Jun 12, 1990
16.IRS-1B Aug 29, 1991
17.SROSS-C May 20, 1992
18.INSAT-2A Jul 10, 1992
19.INSAT-2B Jul 23, 1993
20.IRS-1E Sep 20, 1993
21.SROSS-C2 May 04, 1994
22.IRS-P2 Oct 15, 1994
23.INSAT-2C Dec 07, 1995
24.IRS-1C Dec 28, 1995
25.IRS-P3 Mar 21, 1996
26.INSAT-2D Jun 04, 1997
27.IRS-1D Sep 29, 1997
28.INSAT-2E Apr 03, 1999
29.Oceansat(IRS-P4) May 26, 1999
30.INSAT-3B Mar 22, 2000
31.GSAT-1 Apr 18, 2001
32.The Technology Experiment Satellite (TES) Oct 22, 2001
33.INSAT-3C Jan 24, 2002
34.KALPANA-1 Sep 12, 2002
35.INSAT-3A Apr 10, 2003
36.GSAT-2 May 08, 2003
37.INSAT-3E Sep 28, 2003
38.IRS-P6 / RESOURCESAT-1 Oct 17, 2003
39.EDUSAT Sep 20, 2004
40.CARTOSAT-1 May 05, 2005
41.HAMSAT May 05, 2005
42.INSAT-4A Dec 22, 2005
43.INSAT-4C Jul 10, 2006
44.SRE-1 Jan 10, 2007
45.CARTOSAT-2 Jan 10, 2007
46.INSAT-4B Mar 12, 2007
47.INSAT-4CR Sep 02, 2007
48.IMS-1 Apr 28, 2008
49.CARTOSAT – 2A Apr 28, 2008
50.Chandrayaan-1 Oct 22, 2008
51.RISAT-2 Apr 20, 2009
52.Oceansat-2 Sep 23, 2009
53.GSAT-4 Apr 15, 2010
54.CARTOSAT-2B Jul 12, 2010
55.GSAT-5P Dec 25, 2010
56.YOUTHSAT Apr 20, 2011
57.RESOURCESAT-2 Apr 20, 2011
58.GSAT-8 May 21, 2011
59.GSAT-12 Jul 15, 2011
60.Megha-Tropiques Oct 12, 2011
61.RISAT-1 Apr 26, 2012
62.GSAT-10 Sep 29, 2012
63.SARAL Feb 25, 2013
64.IRNSS-1A Jul 01, 2013
65.INSAT-3D Jul 26, 2013
66.GSAT-7 Aug 30, 2013
67.Mars Orbiter Mission Spacecraft Nov 05, 2013
68.GSAT-14 Jan 05, 2014
69.IRNSS-1B Apr 04, 2014
70.IRNSS-1C Oct 16, 2014
71.GSAT-16 Dec 07, 2014
72.Crew module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) Dec 18, 2014
73.IRNSS-1D Mar 28, 2015
74.GSAT-6 Aug 27, 2015
75.Astrosat Sep 28, 2015
76.GSAT-15 Nov 11, 2015
77.IRNSS-1E Jan 20, 2016
78.IRNSS-1F Mar 10, 2016
79.IRNSS-1G Apr 28, 2016
80.CARTOSAT-2 Series Satellite Jun 22, 2016
81.INSAT-3DR Sep 08, 2016
82.SCATSAT-1 Sep 26, 2016
83.GSAT-18 Oct 06, 2016
84.RESOURCESAT-2A Dec 07, 2016
85.INS-1A Feb 15, 2017
86.Cartosat -2 Series Satellite Feb 15, 2017
87.INS-1B Feb 15, 2017
88.GSAT-9 May 05, 2017
89.GSAT-19 Jun 05, 2017
90.Cartosat-2 Series Satellite Jun 23, 2017
91.GSAT-17 Jun 29, 2017
92.IRNSS-1H Aug 31, 2017
93.Cartosat-2 Series Satellite Jan 12, 2018
94.Microsat Jan 12, 2018
95.INS-1C Jan 12, 2018
96.GSAT-6A Mar 29, 2018
97.IRNSS-1I Apr 12, 2018
98.GSAT-29 Nov 14, 2018
99.HysIS Nov 29, 2018
100.GSAT-11 Mission Dec 05, 2018
101.GSAT-7A Dec 19, 2018
102.Microsat-R Jan 24, 2019
103.GSAT-31 Feb 06, 2019
104.EMISAT Apr 01, 2019
105.RISAT-2B May 22, 2019
106.Chandrayaan2 Jul 22, 2019
107.Cartosat-3 Nov 27, 2019
108.RISAT2BR1 Dec 11, 2019
109.GSAT-30Jan 17, 2020
110.EOS-01Nov 07, 2020
111.CMS-01Dec 17, 2020
112.EOS-03Aug 12, 2021
113.INS-2TDFeb 14, 2022
114.EOS-04Feb 14, 2022
List of all satellites launched by ISRO so far

Future of ISRO

Future readiness is the key to maintaining an edge in technology, and ISRO strives to adapt and enhance its technologies to develop the country’s needs and ambitions. Thus, with the development and use of ISRO heavy-lift launchers, human spaceflight projects, reusable launch vehicles, semi-cryogenic engines, single and two-stage orbit (SSTO and TSTO) vehicles, and composite materials for space applications. It is moving forward.


  • Isro
  • Indian Academy of Sciences.
  • Indian National Science Academy.

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