Friday, September 22, 2023

Aryabhata – India’s First Satellite

Written By Shraddha NS (Grade 10)

In the late 1960s, India embarked on a journey that would shape its future in space exploration. With a vision to harness the potential of space technology, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) initiated the development of its first-ever satellite, Aryabhata. Named after the renowned ancient Indian mathematician and astronomer, Aryabhata, the satellite was a symbol of India’s commitment to scientific progress and technological innovation.

The journey of Aryabhata began in the early 1970s under the leadership of Dr U.R. Rao. Aryabhata was a 360 kg satellite that was primarily focused on conducting experiments in X-ray astronomy, aeronomics, and solar physics. The satellite was equipped with several scientific instruments, including X-ray detectors, particle detectors, and an ultraviolet photometer. These instruments would enable Aryabhata to collect valuable data and contribute to the understanding of various astronomical phenomena.

After years of hard work and meticulous planning, Aryabhata was ready for launch. On April 19, 1975, the Soviet Union, with whom India had a collaborative space program, graciously agreed to launch the satellite into orbit. The Soviet Union’s Cosmos-3M launch vehicle was chosen for the mission, which would carry Aryabhata into space from the Kapustin Yar launch site.

As the launch day arrived, the anticipation and excitement were palpable. At 10:55 GMT, Aryabhata was successfully launched into orbit. It entered a near-circular orbit at an altitude of approximately 619 km, marking a historic milestone for India. The satellite would orbit the Earth for 96.2 minutes per revolution, providing ample opportunities for scientific observations and data collection.

Aryabhata’s mission was an outstanding success, surpassing the expectations of the scientists and engineers involved in the project. The satellite operated flawlessly and provided valuable data for nearly five days.

Aryabhata’s achievements paved the way for India’s future endeavours in space technology. The successful launch of Aryabhata demonstrated India’s ability to design, build, and launch a satellite, positioning the nation as a player in the global space arena. It laid the foundation for the development of subsequent satellites and missions, leading to remarkable advancements in communication, weather forecasting, remote sensing, and scientific research.

The legacy of Aryabhata continues to inspire generations of scientists and engineers in India. It symbolizes the nation’s determination to explore the vast realms of space and utilize the benefits of space technology for the betterment of society.

Aryabhata, India’s first satellite, stands as a testament to the vision, dedication, and scientific prowess of the Indian Space Research Organisation. It played a crucial role in putting India on the map of space-faring nations and paved the way for remarkable advancements in the field of space technology. Aryabhata’s journey marked the beginning of India’s space odyssey, and it remains an enduring symbol of the nation’s pursuit of scientific excellence and innovation.

Featured Image Courtesy – The Better India


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