India's first rocket was brought on bicycle and started from a church

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India's first rocket being transported on bicycle (1963)


A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Indeed Incredible India!

In 1963 Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched its first rocket from Thumba Equatorial Launching Station. 
The station had a single launch pad in the midst of coconut plantations. A local Catholic Church the St Mary Magadelene's Church served as the main office for the scientists. The bishop's house was converted into a workshop. A Cattle shed became the laboratory in which young Indian scientists like Abdul Kalam Azad worked and the rocket was transported to lift-off pad ON A BICYCLE. The second rocket, which was launched sometime later, was a little bigger and heavier and it was transported in a bullock cart for the lift off. 
Over the next 12 years, India built and launched more than 350 sounding rockets.
 
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Years later, today, the same ISRO has grown:

3 ISRO achievements that made Indians proud!

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has given us many reasons to celebrate in the past, and it is back once again with good news. The space agency is going to help the US, which is self-sufficient in space technology, launch its satellite from India's launch pad at Sriharikota. The US is the 20th country seeking India's help for launching its satellite; ISRO scientists have earlier launched 45 satellites for 19 countries.

However, what really makes this news special is that India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle will push the US satellite into the orbit. Besides this, other three major ISRO accomplishments this year had been:
Image result for India's first rocket from a church in Thumba
1) 100 days of Mangalyaan: Remember Mangalyaan? It entered the Red Planet's orbit on September 24, 2014 after a 666-million-km journey from Earth in over 10 months, and made India the first country to taste success in its maiden Mars mission. The satellite sent to Mars was none other than Mangalyaan, which successfully completed 100 days on January 1, 2015. It is still in the pink of its health and is busy collecting scientific data.

 2) Launch of India's 4th navigational satellite: ISRO successfully launched a navigation satellite using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota on March 28, 2015. It will help the country to have its own version of the Global Positioning System (GPS), useful in everyday life for navigation. Having an accuracy of less than 20 meters, this system is comparable to the best in the world.

 3) ISRO launches five British satellites: On July 11, 2015, Indian scientists successfully launched five British satellites into the orbit from Sriharikota. Britain not only rented premium space from ISRO but also hired a rocket for the first time. The total weight of the British satellites is 1,440 kg, making this the heaviest commercial launch ever to be undertaken by India.

 The Indian space agency is now busy preparing for the launch of GSLV-Mark-II, probably around August 27. According to an official, the 2.1-tonne capacity GSLV-Mark-II would carry a communication satellite. It would also launch seven other satellites by March 2016. And if all goes well, the Indian space agency might start its mission to Venus by end of this year.
(Image: ISRO)
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Today: 15/02/2017

From 3 satellites in one launch to 104: All you need to know about the PSLV rocket that made history today

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle has come a long way since its first multi-satellite payload of two to a 104 today.
Vishakha Saxena
Vishakha Saxena
The many avatars of the PSLV rocket.

The many avatars of the PSLV rocket.

The Indian Space Research Organisation's most bankable rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has created history today by carrying 104 satellites to space in a single launch.
The launch vehicle, lovingly known as 'the Workhorse of ISRO', has put some of India's most celebrated missions like Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission and Space Capsule Recovery Experiment to space.
So, here's all you need to about ISRO's very special PSLV rocket:

1. The PSLV -- 44m in height and 2.8m in diameter -- made its first flight on September 20, 1993, and has since put 122 satellites successfully in orbit, apart from the 104 it carried to space today.
2. It's not just India that has employed PSLV's masterful capabilities -- 19 other countries have used it to launched more than 40 satellites. Even in today's mission, the PSLV carried 101 foreign satellites -- which in turn helped with the total cost of the project.
3. This is also not the first time that the PSLV has carried multiple satellites -- it has achieved this feat 18 times. Before today, PSLV's personal payload record was in June 2016 when it carried 20 satellites to space at once. The first time it carried a multiple satellite payload was in 1999, when a satellite each of South Korea and Germany along with an Indian satellite.
4. The PSLV is responsible for putting a whole range of Indian satellites in orbit -- like the advanced weather satellite SCATSAT-1. Of the 3 Indian satellites it carried today, one was Cartosat-2 -- ISRO's own earth imaging spacecraft -- which is capable of advanced remote sensing and "providing scene-specific spot imageries for cartographic applications."
5. It is interesting to note here that the PSLV's first launch wasn't successful as a result of a software error. But ISRO learnt quickly from its mistakes and the next launch -- that came just the next year in 1994 -- was a successful "textbook launch".
6. In fact, the PSLV has had to face more than one failures in its course. In 1997, it carried the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS 1-D) to space and what seemed like an initial success turned out to be a subsequent failure. Due to an anomaly, the IRS 1-D got placed in a lower orbit which turned its powerful stereoscopic cameras, almost myopic. The failure also led to problems with the South Koreans, who needed some convincing before they let their satellite piggybank India's IRS-P4 in a subsequent launch in 1994.
Read | From the archives, 1997: Imperfect Ending
7. The PSLV's payload capacity didn't always support multiple launches, but steady enhances over time have made it steadfast enough to carry 104 satellites like today.
8. All of PSLV's successes are a result of ISRO scientists carefully coding certain manoeuvres into the rocket's flight software pre lift-off. These manoeuvres require careful and accurate calculations and a deep understanding of all things that can possibly go wrong. Once PSLV lifts off, these manoeuvres, and their outcomes, are beyond any scientist's control.