How India’s space journey with a rocket began on a cycle.
“ Saare jahan se acchaa”, – Rakesh Sharma (India’s first astronaut).
The famous reply of Indian cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked, how India looks from space is etched in every Indian’s mind and heart, But how many of us know the story of the first-ever rocket launch by Indian space scientists? And did you know that the rocket was so small and weighed only a few kilos that it was transported on a bicycle? read more
It was 53 years ago, on November 21 1963, that a small rocket took off from a sleepy palm-fringed village known as Thumba, on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram. The village came to be known as Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launch Station (TERLS). And then later became Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).
This rocket was a sharp contrast from the GSLV rockets nearly 70 m long and weighing more than 400 tons. The one after that was launched by ISRO and differed in weight and size and was transported in a bullock cart for the lift off.
In the following decades since then, rudimentary rockets known as sounding rockets that were 3000 in number have been flown for various categories of experiments. India has taken major leaps in space technology and reaped several benefits to the country.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has given us Indians many reasons to celebrate in the past and once again it’s back with good news. US will be aided by our space agency to launch its satellite from India’s launch pad at Sriharikota. Not only US, ISRO scientists has launched 45 satellites for 19 countries so far.
From the first rocket brought on a cycle to a country that has launched GSLV-Mark-II , we can surely conclude by saying that there’s many more miles to go before we sleep.