Space Programme in India
The declared primary objective of the Indian Space Programme/Mission is to achieve self-reliance in Space Technology and to execute programmes/missions for the socio-economic development of the country.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) harnesses space technology for national development, while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration. ISRO is one of the six largest space agencies in the world and reportedly the most cost-effective space agency of all.
The programmes/ missions drawn up and proposed by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for the socio-economic development of the country include:
- Earth Observation programme for natural resources inventory and management (like agriculture, land and water resources, fisheries), near real time disaster management support, weather forecasting, smart governance;
- Satellite Communication programmes for telecommunication, television broadcasting, Direct-to-Home services, search and rescue, tele-education, telemedicine and
- Satellite Navigation programme for location based services.
To enable these, ISRO has embarked on the following programmes:
- Launch Vehicle development programme comprising of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and next generation GSLV Mark-III launch vehicle missions.
- Earth Observation programme consisting of state-of-the-art Indian remote sensing (IRS) satellites viz. Resourcesat, Cartosat, Oceansat, Radar Imaging Satellite, Geo-Imaging Satellite and weather/climate satellites viz. INSAT-3DR missions.
- Satellite Communication programme comprising of INSAT/GSAT communication satellites. GSAT is geostationary satellite while INSAT is Indian National Satellite)
- Satellite Navigation programme consisting of constellation of 7 Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) along with associated ground segment intended to provide accurate positional information and timing services.
- Space science and planetary exploration programme
Some of the important applications being carried out by the Ministries/Departments of Government of India using space technology are given below:
|M/o Agriculture & Farmers Welfare||
|M/o Environment Forests & Climate Change||
|M/o Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation||
|M/o Urban Development||
|M/o Drinking Water and Sanitation||
|M/o Civil Aviation||
|M/o Earth Sciences||
|M/o Petroleum & Natural Gas||
|M/o Rural Development||
|M/o Rural Development||
|M/o Information and Broadcasting||
|M/o Panchayati Raj||
|M/o Tribal Affairs||
|D/o Health & Family Welfare||
India’s mission to Mars – The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) - launched on November 05, 2013 and successfully inserted into Mars orbit on September 24, 2014, has various achievements to its credit like,
- First interplanetary mission realized by India and first Indian spacecraft to incorporate full scale on-board autonomy to overcome the long distances and the communication gaps due to non-visibility periods.
- First Indian spacecraft to successfully survive Van Allen belt crossing 39 times.
- First mission to use Ship Borne Terminals to track the launch vehicle and satellite over Pacific Ocean by ISRO.
- First Indian spacecraft to escape the Sphere Of Influence of Earth and orbit Sun.
- First Mars mission in the world to succeed Mars Orbit Insertion in first attempt.
- Most economical interplanetary mission in the world and paved way for cost-effective access to deep space. The launch vehicle, Spacecraft and Ground Segment have been realised with a budget of Rs 450 Cr.
- The planned life span of Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) after its insertion into Mars orbit on September 24, 2014 is 6 months. However as on December 2015, it is still working.
India’s mission to moon - Chandrayan Mission-I in 2008 - discovered the presence of water on the surface of the Moon and turned a new chapter in the world’s understanding of Moon.
The Government, in September 1992, has set up Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), as ISRO’s commercial arm, under the administrative control of Department of Space for commercial exploitation of indigenously developed space technology products and services. Antrix has taken steps to provide products and services by way of:
- Marketing of Indian Remote Sensing Satellites data to international customers,
- Establishment of ground stations in foreign countries to receive the IRS data
- Leasing of satellite transponders on-board INSAT/ GSAT satellites,
- Launching foreign satellites on-board Indian launch vehicles;
- Building/marketing satellites and sub-systems for international customers and
- providing mission support services for foreign satellites.
ISRO, through its commercial arm - Antrix Corporation Limited, till November 2015, has launched 51 satellites from 20 countries.
Antrix, through the above activities has earned during:
- 11th Five Year Plan Period: Revenue of Rs 5177.27 Crores; Out of which, Foreign Exchange equivalent was Rs 511.53 Crores (77.34 Million USD and 13.93 Million Euros); and
- First three years of 12th Five Year Plan Period (till 31 March 2015): Revenue of Rs 4764.71 Crores; Out of which, Foreign Exchange equivalent was Rs 564.47 Crores (14.20 Million USD and 63.43 Million Euros).
The funds allocated for various space programmes during the last three years, year-wise are given below:
Rs (in Crores)
|Other Programmes & Direction/Administration||97.35||169.91||145.31|
- Replies to various parliament questions