Indian Space Research Organisation
भारतीय अंतरिक्ष अनुसंधान संगठन
Indian Space Research Organisation Logo
Acronym ISRO
Owner India
Established 15 August 1969 (1969-08-15)
(superseded INCOSPAR)
Headquarters Bangalore, India
Primary spaceport Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota
Motto Space Technology in the Service of Human Kind
Administrator Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman
Budget ₹6792 crore (US$1.1 billion) (2013-14)
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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO, /ˈɪsr/; Hindi: भारतीय अंतरिक्ष अनुसंधान संगठन Bhāratīya Antarikṣha Anusandhān Sangaṭhan) is the primary space agency of India. ISRO is among the largest government space agencies in the world. Its primary objective is to advance space technology and use its applications for national benefit.

Established in 1969, ISRO superseded the erstwhile Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR), thus institutionalizing space activities in India.

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.

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. 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.

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.

Formative yearsEdit

Vikram Sarabhai

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. Later, Indian scientists like C.V. Raman and Meghnad Saha contributed to scientific principles applicable in space sciences. However, it was the period after 1945 which saw important developments being made in coordinated space research in India. Organised space research in India was spearheaded by two scientists: Vikram Sarabhai—founder of the Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad—and Homi Bhabha, who established the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in 1945. Initial experiments in space sciences included the study of cosmic radiation, high altitude and airborne testing of instruments, deep underground experimentation at the Kolar mines—one of the deepest mining sites in the world – and studies of the upper atmosphere. Studies were carried out at research laboratories, universities, and independent locations.

In 1950, the Department of Atomic Energy was founded with Homi Bhabha as its secretary. The Department provided funding for space research throughout India. 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. The Rangpur Observatory was set up in 1957 at Osmania University, Hyderabad. Both these facilities enjoyed the technical support and scientific cooperation of the United States of America. Space research was further encouraged by the technically inclined Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik and opened up possibilities for the rest of the world to conduct a space launch.

The Indian National Committee for Space Research INCOSPAR was set up in 1962 by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the 1st Prime Minister of the Indian Government under Dr. Vikram Sarabhai as its chairman to formulate the Indian Space Programme. INCOSPAR eventually grew into ISRO in 1969.

As a mark of respect, ISRO placed the Indian National Flag on the moon's surface on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's birthday(November 14) in the year 2008. The Indian flag was painted on the sides of Moon Impact Probe (MIP), one of the 11 payloads of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, that successfully hit the lunar surface at 20:31 hrs (8:31 pm) IST. It was the first Indian built object to reach the surface of the moon.