The Indian space research organization today’s ISRO, a space agency of the government of India headquartered in the city of Bangalore, was founded on 15 august 1969 by Vikram Sarabhai. Didn’t the name itself interpose a proud feeling within you? Didn’t the word ‘research’ associated trick your imagination as ‘all the scholars sitting up straight in a gloomy environment, staring at the old documents, trying to understand the history of space, satellites & antenna!’?
It is interesting to know that the culture in ISRO is very open. Any employee is free to approach any senior scientist to learn new things. Innovation is encouraged. Most of the ISRO employees are ordinary Indians and did not attend any top league university. Many of them belong to middle-class families. Every employee is the part and parcel of the ISRO society. But as it’s known to all, ‘don’t underestimate the power of a common man’, these ordinary people with extraordinary dedication have turned the world upside down by setting records in space history! The success of PSLVs, GSLVs, Chandrayan, Mangalyan and many more scientific inventions are not nine day’s wonder. It is the fruitful result of years of hard work and dedication.
I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go into space. –STEPHEN HAWKING
The previous year’s headlines captivated our minds by saying-
● ISRO’s communication satellite GSAT-18 successfully launched from French Guiana
● ISRO launched 8 satellites in two different orbits
● ISRO launched advanced weather satellite INSAT-3DR
● ISRO successfully test-fired Scramjet Rocket engine
● ISRO sets record by successfully launching 20 satellites in single mission
And the recent chaos was – The Indian Space Research Organization has set a world record by launching 104 satellites on its trusted workhorse Polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) on 15 Feb 2017. It was the 39 th flight mission of PSLV and its 16 th flight in XL configuration (where additional motors are strapped onto the rocket). It took off from Sriharikota space center in Andhra Pradesh with 104 satellites of which 101 belonged to international customers. The main payload was the Indian earth observation satellite, Cartosat-2D. the other 103 satellites were Nanosatellites from India, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Israel, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) and United states. The other countries satellites were being launched as a part of a commercial agreement between ISRO and its commercial arm, Antrix.
Don’t you wonder, why ISRO & not NASA or any other space agency?
Well, it’s all business!
It’s not at all the case that NASA can’t launch the satellites rather, Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO provides launch services much cheaper than the competition. The US-based SpaceX, the French Arian space, and NASA simply cannot compete with the prices offered by ISRO. The budget offered by different space agencies ranges from about Rs 381 crore – 700 crore whereas an ISRO PSLV launch, by comparison, costs Rs 100 crore!
Woah!!How is this possible?
ISRO uses its local resources, makes its own rockets at very cheap prices whereas NASA uses highly branded product to set up its rockets and thus the project becomes costlier. Yep, Brand power fails here! The PSLV does not have the capacity to launch very heavy payloads, rather the relatively small rocket is what the world needs right now. Smaller and lighter satellites have made it possible for rocket to carry them. Thus, because of the use of Nanosatellites, the entire weight was within the maximum capacity of PSLV (1500 kg capacity) hence the launch became possible.
Sometimes high aspirations turn you wild but with the science developing at this speed, let’s hope this becomes true: I think humans will reach Mars, and I would like to see it happen in my lifetime. –BUZZ ALDRIN