ISRO stands for the Indian Space Research Organization. It is the space agency of the Indian government responsible for the country’s space exploration and satellite programs. ISRO was established in 1969 with the aim of developing indigenous capabilities in space technology and harnessing space science for national development.

ISRO has achieved several notable milestones, including the launch of India’s first satellite, Aryabhata, in 1975, and the successful Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) in 2014, which made India the first Asian country to reach Mars. It has also launched numerous satellites for various purposes, such as communication, Earth observation, navigation, and scientific research.

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History of ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is the space agency of the Government of India, responsible for the country’s space research and space exploration programs. Here’s a brief overview of ISRO’s history:

  1. Formation: Dr. Vikram Sarabhai founded ISRO on August 15, 1969, and he is often regarded as the father of the Indian space program. Dr. Sarabhai was a visionary scientist who played a crucial role in establishing India’s space program.
  2. Early Years: In the early years, ISRO’s primary focus was on the development of sounding rockets and experimental satellites. ISRO launched its first successful satellite, Aryabhata, on April 19, 1975, from the Soviet Union.
  3. Satellite Launch Vehicles (SLV):MIP, a small impact probe, was carried by the mission and designed to study the thin lunar atmosphere and surface properties.On July 18, 1980, SLV-3 successfully launched Rohini-1, making India the sixth nation to achieve satellite launch capability.
  4. INSAT and IRS Series: In the 1980s and 1990s, ISRO launched the Indian National Satellite (INSAT) and Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite series, which significantly contributed to communication, meteorology, and remote sensing applications in India.
  5. PSLV and GSLV: In the 1990s and early 2000s, ISRO developed the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) to handle various satellite launch missions, including both national and international payloads.
  6. Moon Mission: One of ISRO’s significant achievements was the Chandrayaan-1 mission, India’s first lunar probe launched on October 22, 2008. It made valuable contributions to lunar science and confirmed the presence of water molecules on the Moon’s surface.
  7. Mars Mission: On November 5, 2013, ISRO launched the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan), which successfully entered Mars’ orbit on September 24, 2014. India became the first Asian country to reach Martian orbit and the fourth space agency globally to do so.
  8. NavIC: ISRO developed the Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) system, a regional satellite navigation system, providing accurate positioning services over India and the surrounding region.

Chandrayan 1

Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first lunar probe and an important mission conducted by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It was launched on October 22, 2008, and it marked a significant milestone in India’s space exploration program. The primary objectives of Chandrayaan-1 were to study the Moon’s surface and search for evidence of water molecules and ice.

Key features and accomplishments of Chandrayaan-1:

  1. Payload: Chandrayaan-1 had several scientific instruments, including a high-resolution camera, an infrared spectrometer, an X-ray spectrometer, and a dual-frequency synthetic aperture radar, among others. These instruments allowed the spacecraft to analyze the lunar surface in great detail.
  2. Moon Impact Probe (MIP): Chandrayaan-The mission carried a small impact probe called MIP, which was designed to study the thin lunar atmosphere and surface properties.. On November 14, 2008, MIP successfully separated from the main spacecraft and made a controlled impact on the Moon’s surface near the Shackleton crater.
  3. Discovery of Water on the Moon: One of the most significant achievements of Chandrayaan-1 was the discovery of water molecules on the Moon’s surface. The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), an instrument on board the spacecraft, detected the presence of hydroxyl and water molecules in the thin lunar soil. This finding was of immense importance to the scientific community as it indicated the possibility of water resources on the Moon, which could be crucial for future lunar exploration missions.
  4. Mapping Lunar Surface: Chandrayaan-1 successfully mapped the Moon’s surface and provided detailed images and data about various lunar features, including craters, mountains, and lava tubes. The data collected during the mission greatly contributed to lunar science and helped in a better understanding of the Moon’s geological history.
  5. End of Mission: On August 29, 2009, Chandrayaan-1 lost communication with Earth, unfortunately ending the mission originally planned to last for two years. Despite its early end, the mission was considered a remarkable success, achieving most of its scientific objectives, and providing valuable data for future lunar missions.

Chandrayaan-1 demonstrated India’s capabilities in space technology and exploration, making the country the fourth nation to reach the Moon’s orbit after the United States, Russia, and the European Space Agency. The success of this mission laid the foundation for future lunar and interplanetary missions by ISRO, including Chandrayaan-2 and other ambitious projects.

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Chandrayan 2

Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second lunar exploration mission, conducted by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Launched on July 22, 2019, Chandrayaan-2 aimed to build upon the successes of Chandrayaan-1 and explore the Moon’s south polar region in greater detail. The mission was a significant step in India’s space program and involved a combination of orbiter, lander, and rover components.

Key components and objectives of Chandrayaan-2:

  1. Orbiter: The mission included an orbiter designed to orbit the Moon and study its surface from a higher altitude. Various scientific instruments equipped the orbiter to map the lunar surface, analyze minerals, and study the Moon’s exosphere.
  2. Lander (Vikram): The lander of Chandrayaan-2 was named Vikram, after Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the founder of ISRO.. The primary objective of Vikram was to make a soft landing on the lunar surface near the Moon’s south pole. Once it landed, the mission planned to deploy the rover to explore the Moon’s surface.
  3. Rover (Pragyan): SRO designed the rover, named Pragyan, to be housed inside Vikram. The organization intended to deploy it on the lunar surface to conduct scientific experiments, study lunar soil, and analyze the surrounding environment.
  4. South Polar Region Exploration: The primary focus of Chandrayaan-2 was to explore the Moon’s south polar region, which had not been extensively studied before. This region particularly interested scientists because it contains permanently shadowed areas that might preserve water ice due to the Moon’s axial tilt.
  5. Lander Communication and Anomaly: On September 6, 2019, during the final stages of the landing attempt, the ground station lost communication with Vikram just moments before the expected touchdown. Later analysis revealed that the lander deviated from its intended trajectory, leading to a “hard landing” on the lunar surface. Despite this setback, many widely recognized and appreciated the achievement of ISRO in entering lunar orbit and getting close to the intended landing site.
  6. Orbiter Success: Despite the lander’s anomaly, the orbiter component of Chandrayaan-2 continued to function successfully. It continues to orbit the Moon, conducting scientific observations and experiments, and sending valuable data back to Earth.
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