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India’s Space research Programme- Origin & Development

India’s Space research Programme- Origin & Development

  • India’s space programme had an early but modest beginning in 1961 when the Government of India entrusted the responsibility for space research and for the peaceful use of outer space to the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), then under the leadership of Dr. Homi J. Bhabha.
  • In 1962 when department of atomic energy formed Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) and the work on establishing Thumba equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) started under the pioneering initiating initiative and guidance of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai to organize a national space programme.
  • In 1969, INCOSPAR was reconstituted as an advisory body under the Indian National Science academy (INSA) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was formed.
  • The ISRO and the launch vehicle program were shifted from Thumba to Sriharikota launching centre. In 1972, a Space Committee and Department of Space (DOS) were established under Ministry of Science and Technology for coordinating R&D activities in space science and technology.

ISRO was brought under the administration of DOS as its main operational arm on 1 June 1972.

OBJECTIVES

  • The Indian Space programme under the DoS aims to promote the development and application of space science and technology for the socio-economic benefit of the country.
  • In order to be really able to do that, India needs to first develop and possess this technology before it can be profitably utilized in socio-economic development of the country.
  • Therefore, an even more important objective of our space programme has been to make India self reliant in space science and technology.
  • India’s space programme, primarily, involves the designing and fabrication of satellites and development of launch vehicles to launch these satellites.

ORGANISATIONAL SET-UP

INDIAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR SPACE RESEARCH (INCOSPAR)

  • INCOSPAR was set up in 1962 by the Indian Government under Dr. Vikram Sarabhai to formulate the Indian Space Program. India’s Space research Programme- Origin & Development
  • At the time, the committee was part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, led by M. G. K. Menon. The committee took over the responsibilities of the Department of Atomic Energy in Space science and research.
  • The then director of the DAE, Dr. Homi Bhabha, was instrumental in creation of the Committee.
  • INCOSPAR took the decision to set up Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) at Thumba on the southern tip of India.

DEPARTMENT OF SPACE

  • The Department of Space (DOS) is an Indian government department under Ministry of Science and Technology responsible for administration of the Indian space program. The ISRO is the primary research and development arm of the DoS.
  • The other agencies of the Department of Space include the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NE-SAC) and the Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL).
  • DoS coordinates the activities of various institutions that are involved in Space Research and extends financial assistance for conducting space research.
  • The Indian Space programme under the DoS aims to promote the development and application of space science and technology for the socio-economic benefit of the country.
  • It includes two major satellite systems, INSAT for communication, television broadcasting and meteorological services, and Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS) system for resources monitoring and management.
  • It has also developed two satellite launch vehicles, PSLV and GSLV, to place IRS and INSAT class satellites in orbit.

AGENCIES OF DOS

  1. PHYSICAL RESEARCH LABORATORY (PRL)
  • The Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) is a national Research Institute for space and allied sciences, supported mainly by Department of Space, Government of India.
  • This research laboratory has ongoing research programmes in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Atmospheric Sciences and Aeronomy, Earth Sciences, Solar System studies and Theoretical Physics. It manages the Udaipur Solar Observatory and is located in Ahmedabad.
  • Today PRL is actively involved in research, related to five major fields of science. PRL is also instrumental in the PLANEX planetary science and exploration programme.
  1. SEMI-CONDUCTOR LABORATORY (SCL)
  • It is based in Chandigarh. It carries out Research & Development in the field of semiconductor technology, micro-electromechanical systems and process technologies relating to semiconductor processing.
  1. NATIONAL ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH LABORATORY (NARL)
  • It is located at Chittoor. NARL carries out fundamental and applied research in Atmospheric and Space Sciences.
  1. NORTH EASTERN-SPACE APPLICATIONS CENTER (NE-SAC)
  • It is located at Shillong. It provides developmental support to North East by undertaking specific application projects using remote sensing, GIS, satellite communication and conducting space science research. India’s Space research Programme- Origin & Development

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