The Indian Space Saga—From Vikram Sarabhai to Dr. Abdul Kalaam - The Fearless Indian
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The Indian Space Saga—From Vikram Sarabhai to Dr. Abdul Kalaam

  • Sukanya Iyer
  • May 19, 2017
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The Indian Space Saga—From Vikram Sarabhai to Dr. Abdul Kalaam Who informed about Space Programes To Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi & Implemented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India can take a bow with a Pride—Lets Analyse that how are our Indigenous space Programmes got Implemented India’s Space programme began with one of the greatest Visionaries of India, Vikram Sarabhai. Encouraged by Homi Bhaba who initiated India’s First Nuclear Programme and supported by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarabhai laid the foundation of the Programme. Begun Originally with US assistance in sending up sounding rockets that barely went about 100 Km up, Sarabhai soon realised the need for complete indigenisation of the programme. Today, India’s Programme owes no credit to any other Nation.

We are the finest designers of rockets and satellites—In this highly secretive and competitive human Endeavour, Indian Program has made its mark with by far the most reliable launch vehicle called PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and as the finest designers of Satellites. A Space Programme has two components, rocket, the Vehicle that takes the object into space, and the satellite or the payload that goes into space. Rockets are tricky since they must accelerate an object from rest to about 11 Km/s in a matter of few minutes. Few rocket engines can do it single—handed. So typically, the rocket that we see as a rocket, is typically 3 or 4 rockets sitting on top of each other. The lowest most rocket carries the upper rockets to a certain height and then disengages so that the second rocket can be ignited (switched on) to take the payload further into

The lowest most rocket carries the upper rockets to a certain height and then disengages so that the second rocket can be ignited (switched on) to take the payload further into the space and so on, until the payload or payloads that the rocket may carry, are put into their desired orbit. Similarly, satellites present a district challenge of their own. A Satellite must withstand being accelerated from 0Km/s to 11Km/s in a matter of few minutes. It must be packed into an extremely small volume –typically a payload bay is a couple of meters in diameter and height. Once in space, it must generate its own power through Solar panels, and withstand the harsh environment of outer space. Once launched, a satellite in general, cannot be repaired.

India’s workhorse, the PSLV, can take a payload into an orbit up to 800 Km. originally designed to put payloads into polar orbit (rotating from North Pole to South Pole), it has now been modified for a variety of uses. However, the rocket is not very large and can take a maximum of 2000 Kg objects into space. India is also in the final stages of testing and approving a far bigger GSLV (Mark3) which has the capacity to carry 5000 kg into the space. We will be in a position to launch our own communication satellites, which we currently launch using foreign rockets.

Indian Space Programmes are nearly self—reliant –How? The Indian space programme has made India nearly self-reliant in the exploration of space. We not only make and operate our own communication and Earth observing satellites, we also participate in space programmes to explore other worlds. India now also has two kinds of global positioning systems, namely GAGAN, which is used for civilian purposes to help guide Aircrafts and ships in their navigation, and a system for Navigation with Indian Constellation (NVAIC) and called Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System(IRNSS). GAGAN sits on the American GPS satellites and improves its accuracy from ten meters to three meters using a series of ground stations and three geostationary satellites (GSAT8, GSAT10, and GSAT 15) NVAIC is entirely indigenous and uses lot of combination of five of our geostationary satellites (INRSS)1c is geostationary, while others are geosynchronous, that is, they go around the Earth once in 24hrs but are at an inclination to

GAGAN sits on the American GPS satellites and improves its accuracy from ten meters to three meters using a series of ground stations and three geostationary satellites (GSAT8, GSAT10, and GSAT 15) NVAIC is entirely indigenous and uses lot of combination of five of our geostationary satellites (INRSS)1c is geostationary, while others are geosynchronous, that is, they go around the Earth once in 24hrs but are at an inclination to Equator. India also has a vibrant space exploration programme. We have sent one Mission to Moon and Mars, flown astronomy payloads on several satellites.

Chandrayaan Mission-1 –This Mission was the first satellite of the Moon to provide unequivocal evidence that there is water on Moon—soaked in its soil—like water in a sponge. It also demonstrated its ability to use Earth’s gravity as an effective sling shot, allowing us to send a mission to the Moon with much less fuel than other missions. Mangalyaan—1, a technology demonstrated mission which establishes the ability to send a mission that far, again using Earth Gravity as a sling shot.

Let me give you a brief of facts from 1971 to 2017, How are Space Programmes have evolved over the years? When Vikram Sarabhai passed away Forty-five years ago, December 1971, in Kovalam. Sarabhai was to the Indian space programme what Homi Bhabha was to Nuclear Programme. Following Sarabhai’s untimely death, APJ Abdul Kalam at that time he was head of Fiber Reinforced Plastics Division along with others at ISRO Trivandrum made a plea to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to continue retain direct Leadership of the space Programme and their view on a future nominee to head ISRO. Let me tell you all a very important information that year 1972 was called as Zero year for India’s missile programme although the strands that came together had begun by 1968-70. There was a strategic intent in 60’s however, by the zero year 1972, there was a deliberate strategic decision to speed up and also set up a Missile which was part of the Nuclear delivery platform.

What was the reason for India to start a missile Programme? The strongest reason being China’s space leap would create a strategic deficit loaded against India whereby a situation would emerge of an unbridgeable “Missile gap”, between India and China. A PMO document from 1970 informs us that the DAE had written to the PM on China’s satellite launch, Chinese rocket test with Nuclear war head implied capability of 1,000-mile range. Chinese Nuclear capability was another dynamic emerging by the end of the decade demonstrated by launch of their first satellite. A wider strategic initiative was underway which appeared to coincide almost simultaneously with the sudden death of Dr. Sarabhai was revealed by a PMO document. In a letter to MGK Menon (14.1.72), appointed interim chairman of ISRO awaiting the return of S Dhawan from California Institute of Technology, PM Indira Gandhi Wrote “I think there should be some linkage between our space Programme and Defence needs. Would you please discuss with BD Nag Chaudhary in a Preliminary way the best manner of achieving this?”

On January 11 1972, Scientists from SSTC including APJ Abdul Kalam wrote to Indira Gandhi requesting That ISRO remain under her direct charge following the death of Sarabhai. ISRO began to experiment with satellite launch vehicles as early as 1979, in the hope of reducing its dependence on foreign launch services. These vehicles can put satellites into orbit around Earth at varying distances from the surface. Its first Programme, headed by APJ Abdul Kalam, had four Satellite Launch Vehicles, all carrying variations of the Rohini satellites.  Two of these succeeded, two failed and this series was closed in 1983. The Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle Series that followed it between 1987 and 1994 had a similarly unsuccessful run.

The Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle Series that followed it between 1987 and 1994 had a similarly unsuccessful run. It’s fourth and last launch in 1994 was entirely successful. But the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle that followed it change the trend. After its first launch in 1993 failed, the 26 that followed until June were successful. These PSLVs could carry small loads of satellites that could provide basic telecommunication and mapping services.   Thus, after a detailed analysis, what we find is that APJAbdul Kalam was Head of the Fiber Reinforced Plastics Division at SSTC. Thus, 1972 marked a watershed in Indian Missile and space Programme.

Let me conclude by saying – The ISRO sets a new record in space mission achievements after it successfully launched 104 satellites in one go from the Satish Dhawan space centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. This was ISRO’s first space mission it has ever carried out. PM Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee congratulated the space agency for the historic event that significantly boosts India’s space Programme, taking India Vikas Ki Aur.

 

 

 

The Indian Space Saga—From Vikram Sarabhai to Dr. Abdul Kalaam Who informed about Space Programes To Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi & Implemented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India can take a bow with a Pride—Lets Analyse that how are our Indigenous space Programmes got Implemented India’s Space programme began with one of the greatest Visionaries of India, Vikram Sarabhai. Encouraged by Homi Bhaba who initiated India’s First Nuclear Programme and supported by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarabhai laid the foundation of the Programme. Begun Originally with US assistance in sending up sounding rockets that barely went about 100 Km up, Sarabhai soon realised the need for complete indigenisation of the programme. Today, India’s Programme owes no credit to any other Nation. We are the finest designers of rockets and satellites—In this highly secretive and competitive human Endeavour, Indian Program has made its mark with by far the most reliable launch vehicle called PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and as the finest designers of Satellites. A Space Programme has two components, rocket, the Vehicle that takes the object into space, and the satellite or the payload that goes into space. Rockets are tricky since they must accelerate an object from rest to about 11 Km/s in a matter of few minutes. Few rocket engines can do it single—handed. So typically, the rocket that we see as a rocket, is typically 3 or 4 rockets sitting on top of each other. The lowest most rocket carries the upper rockets to a certain height and then disengages so that the second rocket can be ignited (switched on) to take the payload further into The lowest most rocket carries the upper rockets to a certain height and then disengages so that the second rocket can be ignited (switched on) to take the payload further into the space and so on, until the payload or payloads that the rocket may carry, are put into their desired orbit. Similarly, satellites present a district challenge of their own. A Satellite must withstand being accelerated from 0Km/s to 11Km/s in a matter of few minutes. It must be packed into an extremely small volume –typically a payload bay is a couple of meters in diameter and height. Once in space, it must generate its own power through Solar panels, and withstand the harsh environment of outer space. Once launched, a satellite in general, cannot be repaired. India’s workhorse, the PSLV, can take a payload into an orbit up to 800 Km. originally designed to put payloads into polar orbit (rotating from North Pole to South Pole), it has now been modified for a variety of uses. However, the rocket is not very large and can take a maximum of 2000 Kg objects into space. India is also in the final stages of testing and approving a far bigger GSLV (Mark3) which has the capacity to carry 5000 kg into the space. We will be in a position to launch our own communication satellites, which we currently launch using foreign rockets. [ads1] Indian Space Programmes are nearly self—reliant –How? The Indian space programme has made India nearly self-reliant in the exploration of space. We not only make and operate our own communication and Earth observing satellites, we also participate in space programmes to explore other worlds. India now also has two kinds of global positioning systems, namely GAGAN, which is used for civilian purposes to help guide Aircrafts and ships in their navigation, and a system for Navigation with Indian Constellation (NVAIC) and called Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System(IRNSS). GAGAN sits on the American GPS satellites and improves its accuracy from ten meters to three meters using a series of ground stations and three geostationary satellites (GSAT8, GSAT10, and GSAT 15) NVAIC is entirely indigenous and uses lot of combination of five of our geostationary satellites (INRSS)1c is geostationary, while others are geosynchronous, that is, they go around the Earth once in 24hrs but are at an inclination to GAGAN sits on the American GPS satellites and improves its accuracy from ten meters to three meters using a series of ground stations and three geostationary satellites (GSAT8, GSAT10, and GSAT 15) NVAIC is entirely indigenous and uses lot of combination of five of our geostationary satellites (INRSS)1c is geostationary, while others are geosynchronous, that is, they go around the Earth once in 24hrs but are at an inclination to Equator. India also has a vibrant space exploration programme. We have sent one Mission to Moon and Mars, flown astronomy payloads on several satellites. Chandrayaan Mission-1 –This Mission was the first satellite of the Moon to provide unequivocal evidence that there is water on Moon—soaked in its soil—like water in a sponge. It also demonstrated its ability to use Earth’s gravity as an effective sling shot, allowing us to send a mission to the Moon with much less fuel than other missions. Mangalyaan—1, a technology demonstrated mission which establishes the ability to send a mission that far, again using Earth Gravity as a sling shot. [ads1] Let me give you a brief of facts from 1971 to 2017, How are Space Programmes have evolved over the years? When Vikram Sarabhai passed away Forty-five years ago, December 1971, in Kovalam. Sarabhai was to the Indian space programme what Homi Bhabha was to Nuclear Programme. Following Sarabhai’s untimely death, APJ Abdul Kalam at that time he was head of Fiber Reinforced Plastics Division along with others at ISRO Trivandrum made a plea to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to continue retain direct Leadership of the space Programme and their view on a future nominee to head ISRO. Let me tell you all a very important information that year 1972 was called as Zero year for India’s missile programme although the strands that came together had begun by 1968-70. There was a strategic intent in 60’s however, by the zero year 1972, there was a deliberate strategic decision to speed up and also set up a Missile which was part of the Nuclear delivery platform. What was the reason for India to start a missile Programme? The strongest reason being China’s space leap would create a strategic deficit loaded against India whereby a situation would emerge of an unbridgeable “Missile gap”, between India and China. A PMO document from 1970 informs us that the DAE had written to the PM on China’s satellite launch, Chinese rocket test with Nuclear war head implied capability of 1,000-mile range. Chinese Nuclear capability was another dynamic emerging by the end of the decade demonstrated by launch of their first satellite. A wider strategic initiative was underway which appeared to coincide almost simultaneously with the sudden death of Dr. Sarabhai was revealed by a PMO document. In a letter to MGK Menon (14.1.72), appointed interim chairman of ISRO awaiting the return of S Dhawan from California Institute of Technology, PM Indira Gandhi Wrote “I think there should be some linkage between our space Programme and Defence needs. Would you please discuss with BD Nag Chaudhary in a Preliminary way the best manner of achieving this?” On January 11 1972, Scientists from SSTC including APJ Abdul Kalam wrote to Indira Gandhi requesting That ISRO remain under her direct charge following the death of Sarabhai. ISRO began to experiment with satellite launch vehicles as early as 1979, in the hope of reducing its dependence on foreign launch services. These vehicles can put satellites into orbit around Earth at varying distances from the surface. Its first Programme, headed by APJ Abdul Kalam, had four Satellite Launch Vehicles, all carrying variations of the Rohini satellites.  Two of these succeeded, two failed and this series was closed in 1983. The Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle Series that followed it between 1987 and 1994 had a similarly unsuccessful run. [ads1] The Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle Series that followed it between 1987 and 1994 had a similarly unsuccessful run. It's fourth and last launch in 1994 was entirely successful. But the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle that followed it change the trend. After its first launch in 1993 failed, the 26 that followed until June were successful. These PSLVs could carry small loads of satellites that could provide basic telecommunication and mapping services.   Thus, after a detailed analysis, what we find is that APJAbdul Kalam was Head of the Fiber Reinforced Plastics Division at SSTC. Thus, 1972 marked a watershed in Indian Missile and space Programme. Let me conclude by saying – The ISRO sets a new record in space mission achievements after it successfully launched 104 satellites in one go from the Satish Dhawan space centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. This was ISRO’s first space mission it has ever carried out. PM Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee congratulated the space agency for the historic event that significantly boosts India’s space Programme, taking India Vikas Ki Aur.      

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