India can take a bow with a Pride—Lets Analyse that how are our Indigenous space Programs got Implemented
India’s Space program began with one of the greatest Visionaries of India, Vikram Sarabhai. Encouraged by Homi Bhaba who initiated India’s First Nuclear Program and supported by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarabhai laid the foundation of the Program. Begun Originally with US assistance in sending up sounding rockets that barely went about 100 Km up, Sarabhai soon realised the need for complete indigenisation of the program Today, India’s Program owes no credit to any other Nation.
We are the finest designers of rockets and satellites—In this highly secretive and competitive human Endeavour, Indian Program has made its mark with by far the most reliable launch vehicle called PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and as the finest designers of Satellites. A Space Programe has two components, rocket, the Vehicle that takes the object into space, and the satellite or the payload that goes into space. Rockets are tricky since they must accelerate an object from rest to about 11 Km/s in a matter of few minutes. Few rocket engines can do it single—handed.
So typically, the rocket that we see as a rocket, is typically 3 or 4 rockets sitting on top of each other. The lowest most rocket carries the upper rockets to a certain height and then disengages so that the second rocket can be ignited (switched on) to take the payload further into the space and so on, until the payload or payloads that the rocket may carry, are put into their desired orbit.Similarly, satellites present a district challenge of their own. A Satellite must withstand being accelerated from 0Km/s to 11Km/s in a matter of few minutes. It must be packed into an extremely small volume –typically a payload bay is a couple of meters in diameter and height. Once in space, it must generate its own power through Solar panels,and withstand the harsh environment of outer space. Once launched, a satellite in general, cannot be repaired.
India’s work horse, the PSLV, can take a payload into an orbit upto 800 Km. originally designed to put payloads into polar orbit (rotating from North Pole to South Pole), it has now been modified for a variety of uses. However, the rocket is not very large and can take a maximum of 2000 Kg objects into space. India is also in the final stages of testing and approving a far bigger GSLV (Mark3) which has the capacity to carry 5000 kg into the space.We will be in a position to launch our own communication satellites, which we currently launch using foreign rockets.