India in Space: ISRO's beginnings, achievements and vision 2020

 | Updated: Jan 02, 2020, 05:07 PM IST

Just like past, the Indian space research agency, ISRO made the country proud in 2019 as well. Here is a look at ISRO's several missions and spectacular feat over time.


The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was founded on August 15, 1969, under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). In 1972, the Department of Space was formed by the government in power and ISRO was transferred from the DAE to the new Department of Space.

Since then, ISRO has achieved a great feat in space expedition and operations, including sending unmanned missions to the Moon as well as the nearby planet - Mars.

In picture - a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel stands guard in front of the 32-metre Dish Antennae at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Deep Space Network (DSN) station, Telemetry Tracking and Command Network Centre (ISTRAC), near Byalalu village on the outskirts of Bangalore on November 27, 2013.


K Sivan

Dr. Kailasavadivoo Sivan is the chief of India's space agency since January 2018. Sivan was born into a farmer's family in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, where he did his schooling as well as his engineering.

He later studied at IIS Bengaluru and IIT Bombay, to join ISRO as an aerospace engineer.

With support from the incumbent government, Dr. K Sivan has been able to propel ISRO to join the elite club of space agencies, alongside NASA and ROSCOSMOS.


Record breaker

All of India watched as ISRO launched Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C37) at Sriharikota on February 15, 2017.

India successfully put a record 104 satellites from a single rocket into orbit on February 15 in the triumph for its famously frugal space agency.

Scientists who were at the launch in the southern spaceport of Sriharikota burst into applause as the head of the agency announced all the satellites had been ejected.




ISRO has in a time gone on to become completely self-reliant. Ever since Russia gave India its cryogenic engines, ISRO has managed to bring its space program to a state of complete self-sufficiency.

Today, ISRO launches its rockets into space carrying not only Indian satellites but also for other countries such as Israel, Singapore as well as the United States of America.

In the photo: ISRO's heavy-lift rocket GSLV-MkIII-D2, also known as 'Bahubali' is seen hours before launch in November 2018.



Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) heaviest and most-advanced high throughput communication satellite GSAT-11 was successfully launched from the Spaceport in French Guiana on 5 December 2018.

The 5854-kg GSAT-11 was launched with an aim to provide high data rate connectivity to users of Indian mainland and islands through 32 user beams in Ku-band and 8 hub beams in Ka-band.

GSAT-11 was launched to act as a forerunner to all future high throughput communication satellites. 



Calling Chandrayaan-2 a highly complex mission, the ISRO said that it represented a significant technological leap compared to the previous missions undertaken by it. It aimed at studying the Moon's surface, sub-surface and the exosphere.

After revolving around the earth's orbit, Chandrayaan-2 began its journey to the moon on August 14, 2019, and all manoeuvres were carried out to perfection until the last few minutes of descent.

Vikram lander lost contact with ground stations minutes before its planned touchdown on the lunar surface last year.

The orbiter has clicked a thermal image of the Lander.

"We have found the location of Lander Vikram on lunar surface and orbiter has clicked a thermal image of Lander," K Sivan said. However, no communication has yet been established with the Lander. "We are trying to establish contact. It will be communicated soon," K Sivan had said.


ISRO Chief K Sivan

After the crash of the Vikram lander, as part of the mission Chandrayaan-2, PM Modi had hinted in his speech that India will keep on trying until it succeeds.

Backing this up, Chief Dr. K Sivan announced ISRO's plans for 2020 including the progress in 'Chandrayaan 3' moon mission and 'Gaganyaan' mission for putting an Indian astronaut into space, during a press conference held at the ISRO headquarters in Bangalore on January 1, 2020.

Four candidates from the brave Indian Air Force have already been shortlisted for the honour of being a part of 'Gaganyaan'.