A history: India's star treks since independence

 India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 lifts off onboard GSLV Mk III-M1 launch vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh (PTI Photo)

India reached a new benchmark this year with the launch of Chandrayaan 2, which has gained appreciation from space research organisations across the world.

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) currently holds the fifth rank in space technology. Here's a timeline of ISRO achievements since independence.

1962: Under the guidance of Vikram Sarabhai, the father of India's space programme, the R K Ramanathan Indian National Committee for Space Research was formed.

1963: Space research began with the first rocket launch aimed at understanding pressure in the upper atmospheric region.

1975: Aryabhata, the first Indian satellite completely designed in India, was launched from Russia.

1977: The first satellite for telecommunication was built.

1979: Bhaskara-I, the first remote sensing satellite was launched to analyse hydrology, forests and oceanography.

1980: India's first Satellite Launch Vehicle was built, which was used to put the satellite Rohini into orbit.

1981: The Rohini Satellite RS-D1 was successfully placed in orbit.

1982: Communication Satellite INSAT-1A was launched.

1984: Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian astronaut who drove Soyuz T-11 to space.

1987: Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) ASLV-D1 was launched with SROSS-1 satellite but failed.

1988: First Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite was launched with IRS-1A. 

1991: Second remote sensing satellite IRS-1B was launched.

1992: First successful ASLV launch with ASLV-D3 carrying SROSS-C Satellite.

1993: Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) was launched for the first time with PSLV-D1 but could not be placed in orbit.

1994: First spacecraft IRS-P2 successfully orbited onboard the second developmental flight of PSLV with PSLV-D2.

1999: PSLV-C2, the second operational launch of India's PSLV placed three satellites - IRS-P4 as the main payload and Korean KITSAT-3 and German DLR-TUBSAT as auxiliary payloads - into polar sunsynchronous orbit.

2001-2007: Many satellites were launched including TES, multiple CARTOSATs, GSATs, EDUSAT and INSAT.

2008: India's first unmanned moon mission Chandrayaan-1 was successfully launched. After successful completion of all major mission objectives, the orbit was raised in May

2009. The satellite made more than 3,400 orbits around the moon and the mission was concluded when communication with the spacecraft was lost in August 2009. 

2009: RISAT-2, a Radar Imaging Satellite with all-weather capability, launched to take images of the earth. This satellite enhances ISRO's capability for Disaster Management applications.

2011: RESOURCESAT-2 is a follow-on mission to RESOURCESAT-1 (2003) and the 18th Remote Sensing satellite built by ISRO. RESOURCESAT-2 is intended to continue the remote sensing data services to global users provided by RESOURCESAT-1.

2012: Radar Satellite-1 (RISAT-1) is a state of the art Microwave Remote Sensing Satellite carrying a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Payload operating in C-band (5.35 GHz), which enables imaging of surface features during both day and night under all weather conditions.

2013: PSLV-C20, C22 and C25 were launched with various satellites, including India’s first dedicated navigational satellite IRNSS-1A. The PSLV-C25 mission was optimised for the launch of Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft into a highly elliptical Earth orbit.

2014: GSLV-D5, the eighth GSLV flight, was launched. There were also several PSLV launches.

2015: PSLV-C30 launches ASTROSAT into orbit. ASTROSAT is India’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory. This scientific satellite mission endeavours for a more detailed understanding of our universe.

2016: India launched its fifth, sixth and seventh satellites of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS-1E, 1F and 1G). The Cartosat-2 satellite was also launched, which is useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use regulation and utility management like road network monitoring and water distribution. INSAT-3DR, GSAT-18 and SCATSAT-1 were also launched.

2017: ISRO set a record of launching 104 satellites with one launcher.

2018: Launched 31 satellites in one go. ISRO and BHEL tied up to produce Space Grade Lithium-Ion Cells. Launched satellites like GSAT 6A, GSAT 7A, HysIS and IRNSS-1I. India's heaviest communication satellite, GSAT 11 was also launched from Kourou launch base, French Guiana by Ariane-5 VA-246.

2019: Chandrayaan-2 launched on July 22 as the first space mission to conduct a soft landing on the Moon's south polar region and the first Indian expedition to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface with home-grown technology. It's also the first Indian mission to explore the lunar terrain with home-grown technology.

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