ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) has done (time and again) what many would have thought was impossible for a developing countries like India. Here are the N most amazing facts about ISRO – the pride-of-India – that we should know about:
1. Amount of money spent by ISRO in 40 years = amount of money spent by NASA in 1 year
NASA is doing great work but it’s still an amazing fact!
2. ISRO’s Mars Mission was successful in the maiden attempt
3. The Mars Mission was cheaper than films set in Space
4. And the Cost of the Mangalyaan (Mars Mission) was way less than that of other space agencies
And Mangalyaan is just proof-of-concept. The next goal is to study the surface of Mars. Kudos to ISRO!
5. Dr Vikram Sarabhai is the founding father of ISRO and the first chairman of ISRO
Dr Vikram became the first chairman, after ISRO was officially established in 1969, having grown out of INCOSPAR (Indian National Committee for Space Research, established in 1962).
Thank you, Dr Vikram.
6. The two great Indians who decided on the location for first rocket launch were Dr. Vikram Sarabhai and Dr. Homi J Bhabha
One, the father of India’s atomic energy program, and other, the space program! The team couldn’t be better than this.
The launch site had to be on or near the magnetic equator. It had to be near the sea but away from densely populated area. Rockets would come back, eventually, they knew.
7. St. Mary Magdalene Church in Thiruvananthapuram was the ideal location; church officials and villagers dedicated the church for national cause
Church officials and villagers dedicated St. Mary Magdalene Church to the nation for furthering the space program. It was an perfect location for rocket launches.
That church is now a space museum. Some of the most famous Indian scientists including former president Abdul Kalam worked here.
8. Scientists travelled daily from Thiruvananthapuram in buses, carrying lunch bought at the railway station
Many rocket parts were carried by the scientists on bicycles from one place to another within the sprawling range of Thumba.
9. Things hadn’t change much until 1981; satellite was transported in bullock cart
Using a truck was probably too lavish.
Yes, that’s a satellite. And it was called APPLE.
10. Few years later, ISRO was awarded the UNESCO-IPDC for the Kheda Communications Project
It was carried out in Kheda, Gujarat in 1984
11. You can buy satellite data from ISRO.
Here’s the price list. Much cheaper than launching your own satellite if you need high-resolution satellite images.
12. ISRO is working on a manned mission
A crew of two to start with! An orbital vehicle is currently being developed.
13. ISRO’s Commercial wing (Antix) reported a turnover of Rs. 13 billion in 2013-14; with budget allocation of less than 0.5% of our GDP
Marvellous! And you won’t believe the kind of people who are on board (among other geniuses from ISRO)
14. ISRO is about to make India as a nation with its own GPS facility
Only 3 out of 7 seven satellites have successfully launched so far.
15. During 70s, ISRO managed to launch its own launch vehicle programme
Even with little money and resources, ISRO managed to make India among the few nations in the world to be so technologically advanced in space exploration.
16. The Indian National Satellite System (INSAT) is the largest domestic communication system in the Asia-Pacific region
It is a joint programme between Department of Space, Meteorology, Telecommunications, All India Radio and Doordarshan.
17. Abdul Kalam moved from heading the SLV-3 launch programme at ISRO to manning the helm at the DRDO’s missile programme
The most notable of such switchovers
18. Academics have benefited hugely from ISRO over the years, with the IGNOU using the organisation’s satellite capabilities
Between 1975 and 1976, a sociological programme streamed educational programmes in 2400 villages.
19. ISRO has become a leading launch agent in the international space market; clients include France, Italy, Canada, Singapore and Israel
20. Behind US, Russia, France, Japan and China, India has become only the 6th member of an elite group with the capability of launching into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) with the successful launch of GSLV-D5
21. Coincidentally, in 2014 ISRO also used the largest parachute seen in action in the country amounting to 31 metres in diameter