Q. Discuss India’s achievements in the field of Space Science and Technology. Identify the personal contributions made by Indian space scientist in this endeavor.
ISRO is the flag bearer of India’s scientific prows. From the modest beginning in 1969 ISRO has earned many achievements under its belt:
Achievements in Space S&T:
Mars Orbiter Mission: India’s first inter planetary mission, the Mars Orbiter Spacecraft was successfully launched onboard PSLV-C25. It made India to become one of the four nations in the world to send space mission to Planet Mars. This shocked the global community worth is cost effectiveness and indigenous approach.
SLV – A Workhorse Launch Vehicle: India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV, PSLV has emerged as the reliable and versatile workhorse launch vehicle of India with 39 consecutively successful missions by June 2017. During 1994-2017 period, the vehicle has launched 48 Indian satellites and 209 satellites for customers from abroad.
India’s Mission to Moon: India’s maiden moon exploration mission ‘Chandrayaan-1’ was launched in October 2008 for mapping the lunar surface with high resolution remote sensing and study the chemical and mineralogical composition. This mission has enabled to detect the presence water molecules on the lunar surface, which has set new directions of lunar explorations in the global community. Recently Chandrayaan 2 successfully put orbiter in moon’s orbit but failed to do soft landing on moon.
Indian Cryogenic Engine & Stage:
GSLV MkIII, chosen to launch Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle developed by ISRO. The vehicle has two solid strap-ons, a core liquid booster and a cryogenic upper stage.
GSLV Mk III is designed to carry 4 ton class of satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) or about 10 tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
GSLV MkIII-M1, successfully injected Chandrayaan-2, India’s second Lunar Mission, in to Earth Parking Orbit on July 22, 2019 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota
Remote Sensing and National Natural Resource Management System:
Today, India has one of the largest constellations of remote sensing satellites in operation. Currently, *thirteen* operational satellites are in Sun-synchronous orbit – RESOURCESAT-1, 2, 2A CARTOSAT-1, 2, 2A, 2B, RISAT-1 and 2, OCEANSAT-2, Megha-Tropiques, SARAL and SCATSAT-1, and *four* in Geostationary orbit- INSAT-3D, Kalpana & INSAT 3A, INSAT -3DR. Varieties of instruments have been flown onboard these satellites to provide necessary data in a diversified spatial, spectral and temporal resolutions to cater to different user requirements in the country and for global usage. The data from these satellites are used for several applications covering agriculture, water resources, urban planning, rural development, mineral prospecting, environment, forestry, ocean resources and disaster management.
Space Capsule Recovery:
A leap-frog in Indian Launch Vehicle Technology was achieved in 2007 through the Space Capsule Recovery Experiment Mission SRE-1 which established India’s technological capability to recover an orbiting satellite with precise re-entry trajectories.
Foreign satellite: Till date India has launched 328 foreign satellite from 33 countries.
IRNSS satellite navigation system (NavIC):
IRNSS with an operational name NavIC is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by India.
It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its borders, which is its primary service area.
IRNSS provides two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Service (SPS) and Restricted Service (RS) and provides a position accuracy of better than 20 m in the primary service area.
Human Space Mission:
ISRO has developed most of the technologies needed such as crew module and crew escape system.
All these has been possible because of visionary contributions from individual Scientist who goes beyond the call of their duty:
Globally renowned space scientist and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
He was an internationally acclaimed Astrophysicist and also known for his design and fabrication of ultralight aircraft and sailboats.
His observations and theoretical insights helped the community in unraveling many mysteries surrounding pulsars, interstellar clouds, galaxy structures and various other celestial bodies.
He was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics for his mathematical theory of black holes. The Chandrasekhar limit is named after him.
His most celebrated work concerns the radiation of energy from stars, particularly white dwarf stars, which are the dying fragments of stars.
Meghnad Saha’s best-known work concerned the thermal ionisation of elements, and it led him to formulate what is known as the Saha Equation.
This equation is one of the basic tools for interpretation of the spectra of stars in astrophysics.
By studying the spectra of various stars, one can find their temperature and from that, using Saha’s equation, determine the ionisation state of the various elements making up the star.
He also invented an instrument to measure the weight and pressure of solar rays.
Considered as the Father of India’s space programme
He was instrumental in the setting up of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), when he successfully convinced the Indian government of the importance of a space programme for a developing nation after the launch of the Russian Sputnik, in
He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1966 and the Padma Vubhushan after his death in 1972.
While everyone knows of his primary role in the establishment of ISRO, perhaps many of us do not know that he was also the force behind the establishment of many other Indian institutes of repute, most notably the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and the Nehru Foundation for Development.
APJ Abdul Kalam
Indian scientist who worked as an Aerospace engineer with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Kalam was also part of the INCOSPAR committee working under Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned space scientist.
In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) where he was the project director of India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near earth’s orbit in July 1980.
Prof. Satish Dhawan :
He is considered by the Indian scientific community to be the father of experimental fluid dynamics research in India and one of the most eminent researchers in the field of turbulence and boundary layers.
He succeeded Vikram Sarabhai, the founder of the Indian space programme, as Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1972.
He was also the Chairman of the Space Commission and Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Space.
In the decade following his appointment he directed the Indian space programme through a period of extraordinary growth and spectacular achievement.
He is credited for setting up the first supersonic wind tunnel in India at IISc. He also pioneered research on relaminarization of separated boundary layer flows, three-dimensional boundary layers and trisonic flows.
Prof. Satish Dhawan carried out pioneering experiments in rural education, remote sensing and satellite communications. His efforts led to operational systems like INSAT- a telecommunications satellite, IRS – the Indian Remote Sensing satellite and the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) that placed India in the league of space faring nations.