There was a time when due to paucity of resources, rockets were also carried by bullock carts. In 1981, ISRO had to conduct a test for a communication satellite and had to take the help of a bullock cart to carry the payload.
The echo of the success of Chandrayaan-3 has been heard all over the world. Celebrations like Diwali were celebrated all over the country, but behind this historic success, the historical struggle of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is hidden. Can you imagine whose achievements are being acknowledged by the whole world, its scientists once used to carry rockets on cycles and bullock carts to the launch site. ISRO scientists saw such a period of struggle which will continue to inspire generations to come. Since the Second World War, Russia and America had become desperate to become Alexander of Space. Both countries were shedding money like water to leave each other behind. Russia first stepped into space in 1957. After this, America also reached the moon behind Russia. In 1969, America had spent 2 lakh crores on Apollo-11 mission. While going to Mars, India had to spend 7 rupees per kilometer. Usually the auto fare is more than this, the cost of Mangalyaan was only 400 crores. The cost of Chandrayaan-3 is only a quarter of the cost of Mission Impossible 7 i.e. 25 per cent.
The golden present that is being seen today in India’s space race is an example of its struggle story. Indian scientists, who are flying the flag of India’s victory in this space race, have seen days when rockets were launched from an empty space in front of a church in Thumba, a fishing village in Kerala. The house of the bishop of the church was made the laboratory. Even more thrilling is the fact that India had earlier made coconut trees a launching pad for rockets. Our scientists did not have their own office, they used to sit in the Catholic Church St. Mary’s head office and do all the planning. Now ISRO has 13 centers all over India. India’s journey in the world of space started from Thumba, Kerala’s coast. India launched its first sounding rocket on 21 November 1963. At that time, no country in the world had even imagined that one day India would fly in space in such a way that it would become an example for all. At that time there were not even enough means of transportation in the country. Because of which the part of the rocket was transported to the place of launching with the help of a bicycle. Parts of the first rocket were also carried on bicycles.
There was a time when due to paucity of resources, rockets were also carried by bullock carts. In 1981, ISRO had to conduct a test for a communication satellite and had to take the help of a bullock cart to carry the payload. Also during the launch of India’s first rocket, Indian scientists used to come everyday from Thiruvananthapuram in buses and had lunch from the railway station. ISRO was founded by Dr. Vikram Sarabhai on 15 August 1969, 6 years after the first rocket was launched from Thumba in Kerala. The Indian National Committee for Space Research in India was first established in 1962 by the efforts of the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his close aide and scientist Vikram Sarabhai, with Vikram Sarabhai as its chairman. Later in 1969, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai had established the Indian Space Research Organization in place of the Indian National Committee on Independence Day. Dr. Vikram Sarabhai is also called the father of the Indian space program.
In 1971, the Space Center was built in Sriharikota, which is today known as Satish Dhawan Space Center. Now all the satellites are launched from here. ISRO launched its first satellite Aryabhata on 19 April 1975. In 1977, the Satellite Telecommunication Experiment Project started, which took TV to every village. It was in these difficulties that our scientists launched the first indigenous satellite SLV-3. It was launched on 18 July 1980. Interestingly, the director of this project was former President Dr. Abdul Kalam. The Rohini satellite was put into orbit through this launcher. ISRO’s first communication satellite was launched in 1981. When America’s GPS was needed to find out the location of the enemy in the Kargil war, then America flatly refused to help and then India was determined that it would continue to make its own GPS. Today India is among the few countries which have their own navigation system. Similarly, there was a time when Russia had refused to give cryogenic rocket technology to India under the pressure of America. But Indian scientists not only developed indigenous technology, but today with its help, dozens of satellites are being sent into space simultaneously. With this launch, India has emerged as a strong player in the global commercial market. The achievement of Chandrayaan-3 will definitely attract foreign investment in the country for space. India has become the uncrowned king of satellite launching at a very low cost as compared to other countries including America.
– Yogendra Yogi