You are on page 1of 8

India’s Space Odyssey: A Timeline

By TheFührer  Leave a Comment
Like Sign Up to see what your friends like.

Hello inmates, It is time for us to put together a timeline of our great nations’ space achievements. We began at the right time (in the middle of the ‘Space Race’) and though we could never quite compete with the mights of the erstwhile USSR and the USA, we have still managed to do quite well and even move ahead of Japan and China in some aspects! Far from the research stations and labs, India’s space programme began at a church in what was once a tiny fishing village called Thumba, not far from Thiruvanathanapuram airport in Kerala.

In 1962, when the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was established, father of India’s nuclear programme Homi Bhabha, along with Vikram Sarabhai, evaluated a number of sites in Kerala to establish a rocket station. Finally, they zeroed in on Thumba.

But there was a hitch… Fisherfolk of the village, emotionally attached to the place, particularly the St Mary Magadelene’s Church had to be convinced to give up the place. The task fell on a former bishop of Thiruvananthapuram. During a Sunday congregation, he spoke to the villagers about the advantages of a space programme. He then asked if they had any objections if the village was handed over to the space department. The villagers paused only a while, and chorused, “Amen”, indicating that they were ready to give up their village.

The small place of worship became the mainstay for the team of rocket scientists. including A P J Abdul Kalam. Russia.Space experts later commented that that it was an auspicious beginning for India’s space missions. After this. The project was initiated with the blessings of the villagers who were resettled. Scientists travelled daily from Thiruvananthapuram in rickety buses. was launched in November 1963. sounding rockets take off every week — only it is now a modern station. lifted off from Thumba including those from the US. Nike Apache supplied by NASA. many sounding rockets. now a space museum. Japan. The first sounding rocket. Thumba was soon turned into the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station. which study the atmosphere. The first drawings of some of the earliest rockets were made in this church. carrying lunch bought at the railway station. . Many rocket parts were carried by the scientists on bicycles from one place to another within Thumba. The conditions were anything but comfortable. Even today. France and Germany.

Here’s to hoping that more would come in the future as the Indian Space Research Organisation gears up to launch our first Mars orbiter mission.From the former pic to the latter. here is a brief timeline depicting the Great Indian Journey. Mangalyaan in late-2013 .

second-generation Insat series. Rohini placed in orbit. Insat system commissioned with launch of Insat-1B satellite. 1992 First successful launch of Augmented SLV (ASLV) placing SROSS-C satellite. 1981 First developmental launch of SLV-3. the first satellite of the indigenously-built.1963 First sounding rocket launched from TERLS on November 21. 1980 First experimental launch of Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3) carrying the Rohini satellite but satellite not placed in orbit. 1983 Second developmental flight of SLV-3. followed by the 3 and 4 series. Launch of Insat-2A. .

GSLV Mark-III . it measures 44. The 49-m tall vehicle has three stages and weighs 414 tonnes at liftoff. allsolid propellant vehicle with a mission to put 150-kg class satellites in 400-km circular orbits. PSLV Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is the first operational rocket of ISRO capable of launching 1. With a liftoff weight of 40 tonnes.600-kg satellites in 620-km sun-synchronous polar orbit and 1. 2004 Launch of Edusat by GSLV’s first operational flight.1993 First developmental flight of Polar SLV (PSLV) with IRS-1E. PSLV has had 22 continuously successful flights till February 2013. SLV-3 was a 22-m long. 1997 First operational launch of PSLV carrying IRS-1D.4-m tall.050-kg satellite in geo-synchronous transfer orbit.8-m tall ASLV was configured as a five-stage. including the Chandrayaan mission. four-stage vehicle weighing 17 tonnes capable of placing 40-kg class payloads in low-earth orbit ASLV An augmented version of SLV called ASLV was launched successfully in 1992 after two failed launches in 1987 and 1988. In the standard configuration.500 kg in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). the 23. GSLV Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mark-I & II) is capable of placing satellites weighing 2. It will be used to launch the Mars orbiter later this year. Giant leaps for India SLV The first experimental Satellite Launch Vehicle SLV-3 was developed in 1980.000 to 2. Its first flight took place in 2001. allsolid. 2001 Successful launch of heavy rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) with GSAT-1 satellite. with a liftoff weight of 295 tonnes. 1999  PSLV started carrying foreign payloads (Korean and German satellites) along with ISRO satellite Oceansat.

The last Prithvi missiles were fired from Chandipur in August and October 2012. including micronavigation and digital control system. two flight tests have been conducted successfully in Israel in 2012. Agni-V Maiden test of the missile took place on April 19. Dhanush It is the naval version of the Prithvi with a range of 350 km. 250 and 350 km. Brahmos The 290-km range supersonic cruise missile is considered to be the best in the world in its class. It was successfully flighttested on October 5. Army too has deployed it. It is India’s longest-range strategic missile capable of delivering payloads to a distance of more than 5. It will be a threestage vehicle.It is currently under development and is conceived and designed to launch much heavier communication satellites weighing 4. Long-range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM) It is being jointly developed by India and Israel. 2012. Akash It is a medium-range.000 km. It’s range is 2. from INS Subhadra Agni-I It has a range of 700 to 1. It comes in three versions with ranges of 150.500 to 5.000 to 3. Agni-IV It is also an intermediate-range missile. It is considered to be one of the most accurate missiles in its class and is currently under production. The missile has been successfully deployed on naval warships. 2012.200 km. Several new features have been tried in this missile.000 km. Defenders of the realm Prithvi Surface-to-surface tactical battlefield missile. The Strategic Forces Command has conducted several trials of the missile Agni-II It is a medium-range ballistic missile. With a range of 70 km.500 km. Agni-III can hit targets beyond 3.000 kg. . Agni-III An intermediate-range missile. surface-to-air missile with a range of 25 km.

. 2001 DRDO announces that India is developing the Agni-III intermediate-range ballistic missile. was first test-fired on March 12 this year. 1997 Agni programme is revived in response to Pakistan testing the Hatf-III. 2007 Agni-III is successfully test-fired from Wheeler Island. The last successful trial was held in December 2012. 1988 First test-flight of Prithvi missile. The missile will also have loitering capability K-15 It is an underwater-launched ballistic missile meant for nuclear submarine Arihant. meant to move at low altitudes to avoid radar detection. 2004 The 350-km range Dhanush missile. The maiden trial failed. 1995-1996 The Agni missile project is suspended. It has a range of 650 km. Our missile mission 1983 India’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme begins. is successfully test-fired. 2001 The BrahMos cruise missile is launched successfully.Nirbhay The long-range cruise missile. 1989 Medium-range ballistic missile Agni-I is testlaunched. 1999 First test of nuclear-capable Agni-II. naval version of the Prithvi.

2012 Agni-V is successfully test-fired.K.000 km. 2011 Agni-IV is successfully tested from Wheeler Island. Antony announces India is developing Agni-V with a range of 5.2010 The Agni-III ballistic missile is successfully tested again from Wheeler Island. . 2012 Nuclear-capable K-15 submarinelaunched ballistic missile is successfully tested. 2011 Defence minister A.