A Rohini-200 sounding rocket was successfully launched from Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station, (Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre), Thiruvananthapuram at 1918 hrs on 12th August 2002, Monday which also marked the 83rd birth anniversary of late Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, the founding Father of India’s space programme. The launch marks the resumption of sounding rocket launchings from TERLS after a gap of two years.

As part of the Research Programme in Middle Atmospheric Dynamics, 180 nos. of RH-200 rockets are planned to be launched from TERLS over the next five years. This programme is being undertaken by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) after the successful conclusion of the INDO-USSR collaborative programme under which M-100 rockets were launched every week from Thumba for over 15 years.

The programme is aimed to obtain gravity wave climatology in the middle atmosphere over low latitude Indian region and to study the impact of gravity waves in the evolution of easterly and westerly phases of stratopause and mesopause zonal wind. This campaign will also study the circulation changes in the break monsoon events, stratospheric and mesospheric circulation features in electrojet phenomenon, etc. It is expected that this programme will help better understanding of middle atmospheric dynamics and behaviour of monsoon over the sub-continent.

Apart from Space Physics Laboratory at VSSC, National MST Radar Facility, Gadanki, Indian Institute of Geo-magnetism, Mumbai, University of Delhi and University of Cochin, are also participating in the research programme and launch campaign.