Space is a very vast and unexplored territory and all countries are trying to study this unknown. Space centres are crucial to this study. In India, we have quite a few space centres.
What are space centres?
A space centre is a place dedicated to space-related activity. It may be in public or private ownership. In India, the most well-known space agency is the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). ISRO has a few space centres over India as their branches.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
The Indian Space Research Organisation is the space agency of the Government of India and has its headquarters in the city of Bengaluru. Its vision is to “harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research & planetary exploration”. The Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was established by Jawaharlal Nehru under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in 1962, with the urging of scientist Vikram Sarabhai recognizing the need in space research. INCOSPAR grew and became ISRO in 1969, also under the DAE. In 1972, the Government of India had set up a Space Commission and the Department of Space (DOS), bringing ISRO under the DOS. The establishment of ISRO thus institutionalized space research activities in India. It is managed by the DOS, which reports to the Prime Minister of India.
ISRO built India’s first satellite, Aryabhata, which was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975. It was named after the mathematician Aryabhata. In 1980, Rohini became the first satellite to be placed in orbit by an Indian-made launch vehicle, SLV-3. ISRO sent a lunar orbiter, Chandrayaan-1, on 22 October 2008, which discovered lunar water in the form of ice, and the Mars Orbiter Mission, on 5 November 2013, which entered Mars orbit on 24 September 2014, making India the first nation to succeed on its maiden attempt to Mars, as well as the first space agency in Asia to reach Mars orbit. On 22 July 2019, ISRO launched its second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 to study the lunar geology and the distribution of lunar water.
Future plans include the development of the Unified Launch Vehicle, Small Satellite Launch Vehicle, development of a reusable launch vehicle, human spaceflight, a space station, interplanetary probes, and a solar spacecraft mission.
Space Centres in India
|New Delhi||DOS branch secretariat|
|ISRO branch office|
|Delhi earth station|
|Dehradun (Uttarakhand)||Indian Institute of remote sensing|
|Northern RRSC-Regional Remote Sensing Centre|
|Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)||ISTRAC ground station|
|Shillong (Meghalaya)||Northeastern space application centre|
|Kharagpur (West Bengal)||Eastern RRSC-Regional Remote Sensing Centre|
|Hyderabad (Telangana)||NRSA or NRSC – national remote sensing agency /centre|
|Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)||NMRF-National Atmospheric Research Laboratory|
|Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh)||Satish Dhawan Space Centre|
|Port Blair (Andaman & Nicobar Islands)||Downrange station|
|Aluva (Kerala)||Ammonium perchlorate experiment plant|
|Mahendra Giri (Odisha)||Liquid Propulsion Test Facilities|
|Thiruvananthapuram(Kerala)||Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre|
|Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre|
|ISRO Inertial Systems Unit|
|Hassan (Karnataka)||INSAT master control facility|
|Bangalore (Karnataka)||Space commission|
|INSAT programme office|
|NNRMS secretariat- National Natural Resources Management System|
|ISTRAC-ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network|
|ISRO satellite centre|
|Liquid propulsion systems centre|
|Mumbai (Maharashtra)||ISRO Liaison office|
|Nagpur (Maharashtra)||Central RRSC-Regional Remote Sensing Centre|
|Mount Abu (Rajasthan)||Infrared Observatory|
|Ahmedabad (Gujurat)||Space Application Centre|
|Physical Research Laboratory|
|Development & educational communication unit|
|Jodhpur (Rajasthan)||Western RRSC-Regional Remote Sensing Centre|
|Udaipur (Rajasthan)||Solar Observatory|
|Balasore (Odisha)||Remote Sensing Centre|
The International Space Station (ISS) is a space centre in space. It is a multi-national collaborative initiative by 5 major space agencies. Unfortunately, India isn’t one of them but it is still fascinating how far science has come in terms of the vast, unknown and seemingly endless space. It’s a very interesting topic and we hope we have piqued your interest. Keep learning and have a nice day! 🙂