The ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore, today celebrated the Silver Jubilee of the launch of India’s first satellite ‘Aryabhata’. To commemorate the event, a function was organised at the Centre during which posters were displayed depicting the progress made in different technologies of satellite building since the launch of Aryabhata.
Realisation of Aryabhata starting from scratch with meagre infrastructure in the country was a major challenge for ISRO. The challenge was accepted and Aryabhata was realised within a period of 30 months by a young team of scientists and engineers led by Prof U R Rao, the then Project Director and presently Member, Space Commission under the guidance of Prof Satish Dhawan the then Chairman of ISRO. The present Chairman of ISRO, Dr K Kasturirangan was also a member of the Aryabhata team. It may be recalled that Aryabhata was launched by the erstwhile Soviet Intercosmos rocket on April 19, 1975 from Baikanur Cosmodrome. While the objective of the Aryabhata mission was to prove indegenous technological capability for designing, building and operating a satellite system, it also carried X-ray astronomy and aeronomy payloads. Aryabhata thus laid the foundation for India’s satellite programme and, today, the country has the largest constellation of remote sensing satellites, IRS, and one of the largest domestic communication satellite systems in the world, INSAT.
To commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Aryabhata launch, ISRO Satellite Centre will henceforth observe April 19 every year as Satellite Technology Day. In today’s function Prof U R Rao, gave the first Aryabhata lecture "Aryabhata — A Symbol of Excellence". He said that ‘thinking always ahead’ has been the main factor behind the success of ISRO in realising 26 indigenously built satellites in the last 25 years. Prof Jayanth Narlikar, Director of Inter University Centre for Astronomy, Pune, spoke on the importance of space technology in astronomical observation and brought out the role of space platforms for astronomical research. Dr P S Goel, Director, ISRO Satellite Centre welcomed the gathering.
The function was watched by scientists in all ISRO Centres in the Country via the ISRO’s Space-Net that operates via INSAT-2A.