In the last 50 years, India has quietly established an indigenous infrastructure to build, launch and operate spacecraft. Collectively the services from space provide targeted education for rural farmers, high-tech health support to isolated communities, timely typhoon and flood warnings to vulnerable coastal regions. India’s growing space assets provide satellite TV to India’s growing middle class and digital communication services to the private sector. India’s space programme is a critical component for its industrial and economic ambitions as it marches headlong into the 21st century. The Indian Space Research Organisation sent a spacecraft to the Moon in 2008, to Mars in 2013 and a space telescope to Earth orbit in 2015.
How did India achieve this remarkable success from humble beginnings in such a short time? Should it continue to invest in a space programme when so many of its citizens live in the shadow of severe poverty? This book provides the big picture of India’s long association with science, from historical figures like Aryabhata and Bhaskara to the emergence of the Indian Space programme in 1963 as first imagined by Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai, the key architects of its modern space program.
Richly illustrated with pictures, many published for the first time, this one book written for the non-specialist offers a detailed view of India’s space program – its history, its current status and future ambitions, all in one place.