Indian Space Research Organisation

Indian Space Research OrganisationJPEG Image

Established 15 August 1969
Headquarters Bangalore, India
Primary spaceport TERLS, SRLS, BRLS
Administrator G. Madhavan Nair
Budget Rs.36 Billion/US$866 Million (2008)
Website ISRO homepage

The Indian Space Research Organisation is India's national space agency. With its headquarters in Bangalore, the ISRO employs approximately 20,000 people, with a budget of around Rs.36 Billion or US$866 million at June 2008 exchange rates. Its mandate is the development of technologies related to space and their application to India's development. The current Chairman of ISRO is G. Madhavan Nair. In addition to domestic payloads, it offers international launch services. ISRO currently launches satellites using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and the GSLV for geostationary satellites.

ISRO centres:

These centres are related to the ISRO:

  • Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram
  • ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC)
  • Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), Sriharikota
  • Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Valiyamala, Nedumangad
  • Space Applications Centre (SAC)
  • Development and Educational Communication Unit (DECU)
  • ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC)
  • INSAT Master Control Facility (MCF)
  • Master Control Facility (MCF), Hassan
  • ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU)
  • National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA)
  • Regional Remote Sensing Service Centres (RRSSC)
  • Physical Research Laboratory (PRL)
  • National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL) (previously National Mesosphere/Stratosphere Troposphere Radar Facility (NMRF))
  • Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL)
  • Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram - The national institute for the study and development of space science. It is sponsored by ISRO under the Department of Space, Government of India.

Major events:

  • 1962: Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR); formed by the Department of Atomic Energy, and work on establishing Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) near Trivandrum began.
  • 1963: First sounding rocket launched from TERLS on November 21, 1963.
  • 1965: Space Science & Technology Centre (SSTC) established in Thumba.
  • 1967: Satellite Telecommunication Earth Station set up at Ahmedabad.
  • 1972: Space Commission and Department of Space set up.
  • 1975: First Indian Satellite, Aryabhata, launched (April 19, 1975).
  • 1976: Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) conducted.
  • 1979: Bhaskara-1, an experimental satellite launched. First experimental launch of SLV-3 with Rohini satellite on board failed.
  • 1980: Second experimental launch of SLV-3 Rohini satellite successfully placed in orbit.
  • 1981: APPLE, an experimental geostationary communication satellite successfully launched on June 19.
  • 1981: Bhaskara-II launched on November 20.
  • 1982: INSAT-1A launched (April); deactivated in September.
  • 1983: Second launch of SLV-3. RS-D2 placed in orbit. INSAT-1B launched.
  • 1984: Indo-Soviet manned space mission (April). Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian to reach space.
  • 1987: ASLV with SROSS-1 satellite on board launched.
  • 1988: First Indian remote sensing satellite, IRS-1A launched. INSAT-1C launched (July). Abandoned in November.
  • 1990: INSAT-1D launched successfully.
  • 1991: Launch of second operational Remote Sensing satellite, IRS-1B (August).
  • 1992: Third developmental launch of ASLV with SROCC-C on board (May). Satellite placed in orbit. First indigenously built satellite INSAT-2A launched successfully.
  • 1993: INSAT-2B launched in July successfully. First developmental launch of PSLV with IRS-1E on board fails.
  • 1994: Fourth developmental launch of ASLV successful (May). Second developmental launch of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) with IRS-P2 successfully (October).
  • 1995: INSAT-2C launched in December. Third operational IRS (IRS) launched.
  • 1996: Third developmental launch of PSLV with IRS-P3 successful (March).
  • 1997: INSAT-2D launched in June became inoperational in October. Arabsat1C, since renamed INSAT-2DT, acquired in November. First operational launch of PSLV with IRS-1D successful (September).
  • 1998: INSAT system capacity augmented with the readiness of INSAT-2DT acquired from Arabsat (January).
  • 1999: INSAT-2E the last satellite in the multi-purpose INSAT-2 series, launched by Ariane from Kourou French Guyana (April 3, 1999). IRS-P4 (OCEANSAT), launched by Polar Satellite launch vehicle (PSLV-C2) along with Korean KITSAT-3 and German DLR-TUBSAT from Sriharikota (26 May 1999).
  • 2000: INSAT-3B was launched on 22 March 2000.
  • 2001: Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-D1 (GSLV-D1), the first developmental launch of GSLV with GSAT-1 onboard partially successful.
  • 2002: INSAT-3C launched successfully by Arianespace (January), PSLV-C4 launches KALPANA-1 (September).
  • 2003: GSLV-D2, the second developmental launch of GSLV with GSAT-2 successful (May).
  • 2004: First operational flight of GSLV (F01) successfully launches EDUSAT (September).
  • 2005: Launch of CARTOSAT and HAMSAT by PSLV-C6 from the second launch pad (Universal Launch Pad) (May). INSAT 4A Launched successfully by the European Ariane-5G.
  • 2006: Second operational flight of GSLV (F02) unsuccessful July 10, 2006. GSLV-F02 was carrying INSAT-4C.
  • 2007: Successful launch of CARTOSAT-2, SRE-1, LAPAN-TUBSAT and PEHUENSAT-1 on PSLV C7 on January 10, 2007.
  • 2007: SRE-1 splashed down in the Bay of Bengal on January 22, 2007 and was successfully recovered by the Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy, making India one of the few countries to have re-entry technology.
  • 2007: INSAT-4B successfully launched by Arianespace on March 12.
  • 2007: PSLV-C8 successfully places an Italian satellite, AGILE into its orbit on April 23. This was ISRO's first commercial launch of a foreign satellite.
  • 2007: INSAT-4CR was successfully placed in orbit, on the 2 September 2007, 6.21pm from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, on a GSLV-F04 rocket. It is the first INSAT satellite which was successfully launched from India.
  • 2008: PSLV in its stripped-down version places the Israeli satellite Tecsar (a.k.a Polaris ) on its orbit . This is the second commercial launch of a foreign satellite by India. (January 21)
  • 2008: PSLV-C9 (stripped-down version) successfully places 10 satellite in a single launch. Two of it were Indian satellites and the remaining 8 micro satellites from various research bodies from Europe and Canada. Cartosat-2A, IMS-1, CanX-2, Cute-1.7+APD II, Delfi C3, AAUSAT-II, COMPASS-1, SEEDS-2, CanX-6 and RUBIN-8 were successfully launched on 28 April 2008

Satellite launch vehicles

  • Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) - an all-solid four-stage satellite launch vehicle. The SLV can place 40 kg into low earth orbit.
  • Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) - an all-solid five-stage satellite launch vehicle. The ASLV can place 150 kg into low earth orbit.


  • Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) - a four-stage rocket with liquid and solid stages. The PSLV can place 1600 kg into polar sun synchronous orbit.
  • Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark I/II (GSLV-I/II) - a three-stage rocket with solid, liquid and cryo stages. The GSLV can place 2200 kg into geostationary transfer orbit.


  • Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV-III) - a three-stage rocket with solid, liquid and cryo stages. The GSLV can place 4000-6000 kg into geostationary transfer orbit.
  • Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) - a small remote-piloted scramjet vehicle called AVATAR. The RLV will place small satellites into LEO and can be reused for at least 100 launches reducing the cost of launching satellites.
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