When Dr Vikram Sarabhai established ISRO in 1969, he had a vision in mind. The organisation must grow and stand ahead of many world superpowers. Today at 9:58 am with the launch of its 100th satellite from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sri Harikota, India became the only developing country to be part of a centurion’s club. The PSLV-C-40 Rocket of ISRO placed a total of 31 satellites and a payload of over 1323 Kilograms in a polar sun-synchronous orbit.
This launch was unique. All the 31 satellites were not launched together. The first satellite was placed in an orbit 359 Km above the earth while other 30 satellites were placed in a 550 Km high orbit. It involved two stages and both successful. It proves that the Indian scientists are still carrying the lineages of Varahmihir, Aryabhatta and many others who placed India as a “Vishwaguru” or the teacher of the world once upon a time.
ISRO is, technically, the youngest of the top 5 space organisations. It faced serious setbacks due to restrictions but, nevertheless, succeeded in catapulting India among the top 5 space powers of the world. And the reason to rejoice is that this entire success is attributable to our sheer hard work and no other country had been involved in this success. We developed everything at our own from scratch and the result is astounding. That’s the beauty of our technology.
The journey of satellite launch with ISRO which started with the launch of a small 35 Kg Rohini I satellite through Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) in 1980 which is now grown to a capacity of 4 Tonnes with GSLV MK III in just 30 years. The variety of satellites also progressed with time. Rohini-I had just simple remote sensing capability while modern day Cartosat-2 which can provide crystal clear images of less than 1-meter resolution. We are launching satellites in multiple orbits with the use of a single launch vehicle.
Today Indian scientists are experts in the technology of multiple burns which is switching on and switching off the Rocket’s engine multiple times to control its height. Everything was controlled remotely with the precision of a nuclear clock.
ISRO’s Workhorse PSLV has proved its mettle once again. PSLV has the lowest failure rate and out of its 42 launches, only two have failed. This is the reason why the countries who used to send Indian satellites in the space a few decades back are now relying on ISRO to send their satellites in the space due to the accuracy and low error probability of Indian technology. It has the rare distinction to launch Chandrayan I and Mangalyaan too.
Earlier Launch vehicles did not have such brilliant success ratio. We have grown from 50% of SLV and ASLV to 95% of PSLV and now the future of ISRO is visible in GSLV Mk III with 100% success rate till now.
Today India boasts its own Global Positioning System (NAViC) run through IRNSS Satellites which is unique in the world and can deliver good results even if one of the desired satellite is out of communication.
The future of the Indian Technology is seen clearly. It is helping the country in various applications. We are able to excel in defence, communications, remote sensing, agriculture, disaster management, education, surveys, broadcast and many other fields of life. We are creating examples for other countries as to how they can better use their talent. We are truly moving ahead to be a “Vishwaguru” once again.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL).