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  • 23 November, 2021

  • 20 Min Read

ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization)

ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization)

  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is the space agency under the Dept of Space.
  • ISRO headquarters are in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • ISRO was initiated under Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the founding father of Indian space programme, during 1960’s. Vikram Sarabhai is the father of Indian Space Program. Hence Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre is located at Kerala.
  • Dr. K. Sivan is the ISRO Chairman, Department of Space.
  • ISRO’s vision is to harness space technology for national development, while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration.
  • Indian space programme had 3 distinct elements such as,
    1. Satellites for communication and remote sensing,
    2. The space transportation system and
    3. Application programmes

Antrix Corporation Limited (ACL)

  • ACL was established in 1992 as a Marketing arm of ISRO for promotion and commercial exploitation of space products, technical consultancy services and transfer of technologies developed by ISRO.
  • It is a Mini ratna company.

NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) (established in Mar 2019)

  • NSIL is a Central Public Sector Enterprise of Government of India and Commercial Arm of ISRO. For almost a decade, ISRO has been planning to hand the production over to public and private industries and itself focus on its core job of space R&D.
  • It was incorporated for commercially utilising research and development activities carried out by ISRO with an authorised share capital of Rs 100 crore and initial paid up capital of Rs 10 crore.
  • It is the 2nd commercial entity and a new business arm of Department of Space (Bengaluru) to promote Indian space commerce.
  • It is under the administrative control of Department of Space (DOS) and the Company Act 2013.
  • The main objective of NSIL is to scale up industry participation in Indian space programmes.
  • Objectives

    1. Transfer of Small Satellite technology to industry: NSIL will obtain license from DOS/ISRO and sub-license the same to Industry
    2. Manufacture of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) in collaboration with Private Sector
    3. Production of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) through Indian Industry
    4. Production and marketing of Space based products and services, including launch and application
    5. Transfer of technology developed by ISRO Centres and constituent units of DOS
    6. Marketing of spin-off technologies and products/services, both in India and abroad.
  • It would also be tasked to “commercially exploit the R&D work done by ISRO centres and DoS constituents”

PT Shots

  • The first satellite launched by india is ‘Aryabhata’. It was developed and was launched using a Soviet Launcher InterCOSMOS.
  • In 1980s, Bhaskara-I & II missions were pioneering steps in the remote sensing area whereas ‘Ariane Passenger Payload Experiment (APPLE)’ became the forerunner for future communication satellite system.

ISRO’s Launch Vehicles or Indian Satellite Programme launch vehicles

1) GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle)

  • GSLV delivers the communication satellites to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) of about 36000 Km altitude.
  • GSLV Mk II has the capability to launch satellites of mass of 2500 kg to GTO. GSLV Mk II is a 3 stage vehicle with 1st stage using solid fuel, 2nd stage using Liquid and 3rd stage using Cryogenic Upper Stage using cryogenic engine.
  • Geostationary satellites orbit around the earth in 24 hours and since the earth rotates with the same period, the satellite would appear fixed from any point on earth.

2) PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle)

  • PSLV is ISRO’s Workhorse – Forex earner. PSLV is the 1st Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.
  • PSLV delivers the EOS/ RSS satellites in sun synchronous polar orbit and lower mass satellites (1400 kg) to elliptical GTO.
  • It is a 4-staged launch vehicle with first and third stage using solid fuel and second and fourth stages using liquid fuel. Strap-on motors also used with PSLV to augment the thrust.
  • PSLV improved it's carrying capacity from 850 kg to 1.9 tonnes.
  • It has 3 variants
    1. PSLV - CA (Core Alone) = without the solid strap on boosters.
    2. PSLV with 6 solid strap on boosters.
    3. PSLV QL with 4 strap on boosters. 1st flight of PSLV QL was PSLV C45 (EMISAT). 2nd is PSLV C50 (RISAT).
    4. PSLV XL = Top model with 6 extended solid strap on boosters. It was used for Chandrayaan 1 in 2008 and MOM in 2013.
  • PSLV C50 to use PSLV QL which has 4 strap on boosters. It will launch RISAT & 9 small foreign satellites from Japan, Italy, Israel & US. RISAT will be used for Agriculture, Forestry, Disaster Management support & National security.
  • Till now PSLV launched 50 Indian Satellites & 222 Foreign satellites for 20 countries.
  • PSLV C47 = Cartosat. C46 - RISAT. C45 - EMISAT. C43 - HySIS. C37 - 104 satellites.

Indian Satellite Programme of India

Communication Satellites

  • Estbalished in 1983 with INSAT 1B in the Asia Pacific region placed in the Geostationary orbit.
  • The INSAT system provides services to telecommunications, television broadcasting, satellite newsgathering, societal applications, weather forecasting, disaster warning and Search and Rescue operations.
  • Eg. GSAT 7A, GSAT-11, EDUSAT etc.

Earth Observation Satellites or Remote Sensing Satellites

  • Started with IRS 1A in 1988.
  • Varieties of instruments have been flown onboard these satellites like Transponder and Camera.
  • Applications cover agriculture, water resources, urban planning, rural development, mineral prospecting, environment, forestry, ocean resources and disaster management.
  • Eg. HySIS (PSLV C43); Cartosat (PSLC C40 - 100th mission); RESOURCESAT, SCATSAT, SARAL and MeghaTropiques with France; Oceansat, Technology Experiment Satellite (TES), Rohini and Bhaskara.
  • Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas was prepared in 2016 by ISRO using RSS

Navigation Satellite: Regional Positioning System

  • It is to meet the Civil Aviation requirements and meet the user requirements of positioning, navigation and timing.
  • For Civil Aviation: GAGAN:
    1. GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation is an augmentation system to engance the accuracy and integrity of GPS signals. It is implemented jointly by AAI and ISRO. It relies on the positioning system of ISRO’s GSAT satellites.
    2. GEMINI system: is a portable receiver linked to ISRO satellites, that is “fail proof” and warn fishermen of danger. GEMINI works on GAGAN (GPS aided Geo Augmented Navigation System).
    3. South Central Railway (HQ – Secundrabad) fitted with Real Time Train Information System (RTIS) to monitor speeds and movement. It is developed by Center for Railway Information Systems (CIRE) with the help of GAGAN of ISRO and AAI.

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)

  • For positioning, navigation and timing, ISRO is establishing a regional satellite navigation system.
  • IRNSS has 3 satellites in geostationary and 4 satellites in geosynchronous orbits (inclined).
  • ISRO's NavIC (Navigation in Indian Constellation) is Indian system of 8 Satellites is an indigenous positioning or Location Based System (LBS) which works like GPS but within the 1500 km radius over the subcontinent.

Gagan Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation and Information (GEMINI) device

  • For effective dissemination of emergency information and communication on Ocean States Forecast and mapping of Potential Fishing Zones (PFZ) to fishermen. Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • GEMINI is a portable receiver linked to ISRO satellites. It can send signals upto 300 nautical miles. INCOIS, Hyderabad in collaboration with AAI utilized the GAGAN (ISRO + AAI) satellite.
  • The drawback of this device is that it only allows one-way communication, i.e, it can’t be used by fishermen to make calls. Also it is expensive.

Bhuvan (Sanskrit for Earth) is a Geoportal of ISRO, allowing a host of services covering visualization, free data download, thematic map display and analysis, timely information on disaster and project-specific GIS applications. Recently an upgraded geo-imaging web portal, Bhuvan Panchayat 3.0 was launched. It uses high resolution data from Earth Observation Satellites and offers detailed information to Panchayats. It is jointly implemented by Ministry of Panchayati Raj and Dept of Space, ISRO.

Why in news?

India’s attempt to place a geoimaging satellite (GISAT-1) with its GSLV-F10-EOS-3 mission did not succeed. The GSLV-F10 rocket, which blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on Thursday, with the purpose of launching the Earth Observation Satellite EOS-3 into space, failed in its mission due to a “performance anomaly”.

Source: PIB

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