The GSAT-15 communication satellite

In 2015, the Indian space agency launched 17 foreign satellites as against three Indian ones from its rocket port in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Last month, India also launched its GSAT-15 communication satellite using the Ariane rocket of the European space agency, taking the total number of satellite launches in 2015 to 21 (17 foreign, four Indian). India will send aloft two telecommunication satellites - GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 - on the Ariane 5 rocket in 2016 and 2017.

According to space agency officials, India has contracted to launch over 20 satellites - a mix of nano, micro and normal sized ones -over the next three years. ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar said, the immediate focus is on completing the second vehicle (rocket) assembly line that would enable increasing the launch frequency.

India's Astrostat Space observatory

In 2015, India joined a select elite group of nations - the US, Japan and Russia, as also Europe - with the successful launch of the Astrostat space observatory. India also moved a step forward towards its own satellite navigation systems by launching the IRNSS-1D in March. On July 13, India launched its satellite-based air navigation services GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation Satellite System) and in the process joined a select group of the US and Japan, as also the European Union (EU) that have a similar system.

GAGAN to boost Indian navigation

GAGAN is meant to provide accurate navigation services over the Bay of Bengal, southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, Middle East and African region.

In another boost to ISRO, the space agency successfully tested the restarting of the PSLV rocket after its engine was cut off during the mission to launch six Singaporean satellites on December 16. This would enable ISRO to launch multiple satellites in different orbits with a single rocket.

How Centre and ISRO came together to develop India's space technology

To increase the usage of Indian space technology a meeting of Central government ministries were held in New Delhi during the year where ISRO showcased its products and services and their uses.

  • India's Mars Orbiter completed 100 days of its Martian orbit on the New Year's Day 2015.
  • Distinguished scientist AS Kiran Kumar was appointed secretary, department of space and ISRO chairman.
  • The year ending was the 40th year after the launch India's first satellite, Aryabhata, with a Russian rocket.
  • Till date, 50 rockets - not including sounding rockets - have been launched from Sriharikota.
  • Indian Railways initiated discussions with ISRO on the possibility of using GPS-Aided Geo-Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) for safety at unmanned railway crossings.

Latest News from India News Desk