India’s Own Satellite Programme
A satellite is a rocket that runs round the Earth, Moon or other planets. India has been following her own Satellite programme. The first two Indian satellites, Aryabhatta and Bhaskara were launched from Russia by Russian vehicles. Rohini is India’s third satellite which was very important for this country. It was the first to be launched from Indian soil. It weighed about 35 kilograms. It was launched on July, 18, 1980. It was a great pride for our nation. It was sent up by a rocket called SLV-3. It took 12 minutes for the rocket to put Rohini in its orbit round the Earth.
The 22.7 meters rocket weighs 17 tones. It did a perfect take off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The satellite has been designed by the Indian Space Research Organization. Dr. S. Dhawan, the Chairman of ISRO, said that the rocket and the satellite was conceived, designed and built by the Indian scientists. The import content was a mere 15 per cent of the total equipment. The latest models in computers were employed to beam signals from the satellite.
On May 4, 1994, India took a significant step towards becoming a global space power with the successful launch of the fourth developmental augmented Satellite launch vehicle (ASLV-D4) from the Sriharikota Range in Andhra Pradesh. The second successful launch of ASLV also injected the 113-kg stretched Rohini Satellite Series (SROSS-C2) into the orbit of 437 kin perigees and 938 kin apogees after the tremendous lift off.
The launch was cent per cent success and went off as per schedule without any hitch. The SROSS-C2 carries two payloads, namely the Gamma-Ray Burst experiment developed at the Bangalore based ISRO Satellite centre for detecting celestial gamma-ray bursts, and the retarding potential analyzer designed by the National Physical Laboratory to investigate the characteristics of the equatorial and low latitudes ionosphere and thermosphere.
All the events are monitored using a network of telemetery and tracking stations at Sriharikota, Bangalore, Thirurranatha-puram and Car-Nicobar. The Vikram Sarabai Space Centre at Thiruvanathpuram is the lead centre for the development of launch vehicles and responsible for the design development, integration and flight testing of the ASLV. The Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre nearby is entrusted with the task of the design and development of all the central power plants for both the launch vehicle and the Satellite. The military significance of the project is obvious. The success of India’s ‘ satellite launch means that India now has the capability of launching Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBM)— flying bombs which can destroy far off cities from India in other countries.