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Shiv Shakti —

India’s accomplishments in space are getting more impressive, these images from the moon are a crowning achievement for india's space program..

Stephen Clark - Sep 1, 2023 12:32 am UTC

A view of India's Vikram lander taken Wednesday from the Pragyan rover.

It's been more than a week since India's Chandrayaan 3 mission landed on the Moon, and it's a good time to assess where the world's most populous nation stands relative to other global space powers.

The successful arrival of the Chandrayaan 3 mission's Vikram lander on the Moon made India the first country besides China to achieve a soft landing on the lunar surface since 1976, following a series of failed landings by private organizations and India itself four years ago. And it made India just the fourth nation overall to achieve this feat.

Since the landing of Chandrayaan 3 on August 23, India has released some early findings from the lander and its mobile rover, named Pragyan, along with photos of the vehicles exploring the Moon's alien charcoal-color landscape.

The Moon landing is just the latest in a string of successes in space for India, which has a thriving rocket program with a family of four launch vehicles, its own regional satellite navigation network, and nearly 10 years ago sent an orbiter to Mars. If India can notch another success in its space program in the next few years, the country could become the fourth nation capable of sending its astronauts into low-Earth orbit.

India is still well behind the space programs of the United States and China, but one could argue India has moved closer to Europe and Russia and could be on par with Japan when you take into account several factors: access to space, space exploration, military space projects, and applications like communications, navigation, and remote sensing from orbit.

Among the space powers considered here, India has the lowest human development index, a measure of social factors such as quality of life, income, and education. But its space program is a point of national pride, and Narendra Modi, India's nationalist prime minister, has made a point to associate himself with Indian successes in space.

Those successes have come on a shoestring budget. The Indian government this year is allocating $1.52 billion to space efforts, and India developed and launched Chandrayaan 3 for less than $100 million, lower than the cost of many blockbuster Hollywood films.

“I’ve described India as a sleeping giant and one that is quickly awakening," said Mike Gold, an attorney and space industry official who previously led NASA's space policy office. "India is absolutely vital to global space development... since the country is active with lunar programs, Martian programs, and now even human spaceflight.”

Since the landing of Chandrayaan 3, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)—India's space agency—has released a handful of images, including a black-and-white shot of the stationary SUV-size Vikram lander taken by the Pragyan rover. There's also a video, shown below, of the Pragyan rover rolling down the ramp from the Vikram lander in the hours after arriving on the Moon on August 23.

So far, ISRO hasn't been releasing all of the pictures taken by the rover and lander on the Moon, and the Indian space agency hasn't posted many images on its website, preferring to share them on social media. Let's hope Indian officials develop a better way of releasing high-resolution imagery from Chandrayaan 3 and future deep space probes.

But it's always exciting to see a place human eyes have never seen before, and India's triumph with Chandrayaan 3 is worth celebrating.

In a visit with Indian space scientists in Bangalore last week, Modi announced the Chandrayaan 3 landing site would be named Shiv Shakti Point, a reference to Shiva, a principal deity in Hinduism, and Shakti, which honors the role of women scientists on the mission.

The Vikram lander and Pragyan rover settled onto a landing site closer to the Moon's south pole than any previous lunar lander. Early science results from the mission include the detection of a seismic "event" on the Moon, and the first measurements of the plasma environment near the lunar surface close to the south pole.

"These quantitative measurements potentially assist in mitigating the noise that lunar plasma introduces into radio wave communication. Also, they could contribute to the enhanced designs for upcoming lunar visitors," ISRO said.

Instruments on the rover have detected sulfur in the lunar crust at the landing site. "This finding... compels scientists to develop fresh explanations for the source of sulfur in the area," ISRO said, adding that the element could be intrinsic to the landing site or may have been produced by an ancient volcanic eruption or an asteroid or cometary impact.

The Times of India reported this week that Indian engineers are increasingly optimistic that the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover could wake up and continue their mission after the upcoming two-week-long lunar night. When the Sun sets at the landing site next week, the two vehicles will hibernate as temperatures plummet to minus 333° Fahrenheit (minus 203° Celsius).

The original design life of the lander and rover was to operate for one lunar day, or 14 Earth days, but assuming electronics and batteries hold up to the frigid conditions, there's a chance the vehicles will automatically wake up when rays of sunlight again fall on their solar panels in mid-September.

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Essay on Chandrayaan 3 🧑‍🚀: Timeline, Successful Landing

essay on space mission of india

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  • Mar 15, 2024

essay on chandrayaan 3

To mark the successful landing of the Chandryaan-3 on the lunar surface, the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi , announced that 23rd August will be annually celebrated as National Space Day.

This article will cover some samples of essay on Chandryaan-3. Chandrayaan-3 was the first Indian spacecraft to successfully land on the south pole of the lunar surface. It was launched on 14th July 2023 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from its Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC)-SHAR in Sriharikota , Andhra Pradesh. On 23rd August at 18:03 IST, the lander ‘ Vikram ‘ touched down on the lunar south pole. This showed India’s capability of safely landing on the lunar surface, thus making it the first country to step on a lunar-south pole through Chandrayaan 3 .

Master the art of essay writing with our blog on How to Write an Essay in English .

Table of Contents

  • 1 Essay on Chandrayaan-3 in 100 Words
  • 2 Essay on Chandrayaan 3 in English 150 Words
  • 3 Essay on Chandrayaan 3 in 200 Words
  • 4 Timeline of Chandryaan 3
  • 5.1 Points about Chandrayaan-3

Also Read: Essay on Peer Pressure: 100, 200 and 450 Word Samples in English

Essay on Chandrayaan-3 in 100 Words

The first lunar exploration mission in the history of ISRO was Chandrayan. It was launched in the year 2008 and since then 2 more follow missions have been launched under this program. 

The second follow-up mission was launched in 2019 and followed by a third follow-up mission in 2023. The success of Chandrayaan 3 has marked the country in different records such as the first country to land on the moon’s south pole and the most cost-effective execution. 

It was launched on July 14, 2023, from Sriharikota’s SDSC SHAR and landed successfully on 23rd August 2023. The mission will be carried down for 14 Earth days i.e. the Rover on the ladder will roam around the moon and study its surface for 14 days. This successful attempt has made India very sure of further development and planned missions for the Moon.

Essay on Chandrayaan 3 in English 150 Words

Chandrayaan-3 is India’s ambitious space mission which has made India proud. It was a successful space mission aimed to conduct a soft landing at the lunar south pole of the moon through the Vikram Lander. The spacecraft is also equipped with a Rover Pragyan consisting of payloads to study the moon’s surface. Apart from this, there were 9 sensors in the Lander.

Talking about the Payloads, there were 4 payloads in the lander namely ChaSTE, ILSA, RAMBHA, and LRA. 2 Rover payloads were APXS and LIBS. The propulsion module also contains a payload i.e. SHAPE. These payloads are designed to study the moon’s surface.

Chandrayaan-3 was active for 14 Earth days in the presence of the sun. After which, the Lander and the Rover were kept to sleep on 2 September because they could not function in the absence of sunlight. Later, efforts were made to wake Lander and Rover when the sunlight hit the moon’s surface. But ISRO revealed that there were no signals from the Lander and Rover.

Despite this, the project was a successful one and it has marked the name of India in Golden words in the history of Space.

Hon’ble Prime Minister of India has named the landing spot of Chandrayaan-3 as Shiv Shakti Point.

Essay on Chandrayaan 3 in 200 Words

Chandrayaan-3 is the most successful follow-up mission in the history of Indian space missions. It was followed by the successful Chandrayaan 1 and partly successful Chandrayaan 2. It has made a successful soft landing on the lunar surface and made India the fourth country to land on the lunar surface. 

It also marked India as the first country to land on the Moon’s south pole. It examined the presence of water and also gathered some valuable scientific information and data about its mineral composition and its geology. 

One of the main objections to this lunar mission was to make a soft landing. The Rover ‘Pragyan” will roam on the lunar surface for 1 Lunar day (Around 14 Earth Days). 

The cost of Chandrayaan 3 is much less than the previous attempt which is around INR 615 Crores making it the most cost-effective lunar mission. 

Timeline of Chandryaan 3

On 7th September 2019, ISRO’s Chandryaan 2 crashed while attempting a soft landing on the lunar surface. Since then, the Indian Space Research Organisation decided to build a successor to the Chandrayaan 2.

  • 06 July 2023 – Chandryaan 3 is scheduled to launch on July 14, 2023, at 14:35 Hrs. IST from the Second Launch Pad, SDSC-SHAR, Sriharikota.
  • 07 July 2023 – Vehicle electrical tests completed. 
  • 11 July 2023 – The ‘Launch Rehearsal’ simulation the launch preparation and process lasting 24 hours was concluded.
  • 14 July 2023 – LVM3 M4 vehicle successfully launched Chandrayaan-3 into orbit. Chandrayaan-3, in its precise orbit, started its journey to the Moon.
  • 15 July 2023 – The first orbit-raising manoeuvre was performed at ISTRAC/ISRO, Bengaluru. The spacecraft was in 41762 km x 173 km orbit.
  • 17 July 2023 – The second orbit-raising manoeuvre was performed. The spacecraft was in 41603 km x 226 km orbit.
  • 25 July 2023 – The last orbit-raising manoeuvre was performed.
  • 01 August 2023 – The spacecraft entered the translunar orbit.
  • 05 August 2023 – Chandrayaan-3 was successfully inserted into the lunar orbit.
  • 14 August 2023 – The mission was in the orbit circularisation phase. 
  • 17 August 2023 – The Lander Module was successfully separated from the Propulsion Module.
  • 23 August 2023 – Chandrayaan-3 successfully reached its destination Chandrayaan-3 completed soft-landed on the moon. Congratulations, India!
Chandrayaan-3 Mission: Vikram Lander is set into sleep mode around 08:00 Hrs. IST today. Prior to that, in-situ experiments by ChaSTE, RAMBHA-LP and ILSA payloads are performed at the new location. The data collected is received at the Earth. Payloads are now switched off.… pic.twitter.com/vwOWLcbm6P — ISRO (@isro) September 4, 2023

To improve your essay writing skills, here are the top 200+ English Essay Topics for school students.

Chandrayaan-3's triumph mirrors the aspirations and capabilities of 140 crore Indians. To new horizons and beyond! Proud moment for 🇮🇳. https://t.co/4oi6w7TCGG — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 23, 2023

Read More About Chandryaan 3

About Chandrayaan Project

The Chandrayaan Project is one of the most successful projects in the history of India’s space agency. It was launched by ISRO for the exploration of the lunar surface. 

The first mission i.e. Chandrayaan-1 was launched on 22 October 2008. It was a successful mission and was inserted into the lunar orbit on 8th November 2008. It marked a new success for the country and India became the fifth country in world history to reach the lunar surface. The cost of this mission was around 386 crores a lot less than any other space agency. The most prominent discovery of this mission was the presence of water molecules in the lunar south pole. It stopped communication with the base on 28 August 2009 and was declared over.

Chandrayaan-2 was followed by a second mission that was launched on 22 July 2019. It was successfully inserted into the lunar orbit on 20 August 2019 but failed to make a soft landing on the lunar surface on 6th September 2019 just 2.1 km away from the surface. However, it was declared partly successful because the orbiter was still functional for around 7.5 years.

Chandrayaan-3 Mission: The Rover completed its assignments. It is now safely parked and set into Sleep mode. APXS and LIBS payloads are turned off. Data from these payloads is transmitted to the Earth via the Lander. Currently, the battery is fully charged. The solar panel is… — ISRO (@isro) September 2, 2023

Points about Chandrayaan-3

Another successful lunar landing attempt was made recently in the year 2023 and was launched on 14 July 2023. It completed its landing and the lander “Vikram Lander” and Rover “Pragyan” landed on the lunar south pole on 23rd August 2023. 

The main aim of this mission is the same as the Chandrayaan 2 to study the atmosphere of the moon and also explore its mineral composition. It will also further explore the presence of water in the lunar surface. The cost of this follow-up mission is around INR 615 crores making it one of the most cost-effective lunar missions.

Read all of our other popular essays

The first mission of Chandrayaan i.e. Chandrayaan 1 was launched in 2008. It was followed by Chandrayaan 2 and Chandrayaan-3 in 2019 and 2023 respectively. The latest version of Chandrayaan was a successful attempt to make India the first country to land safely on the Moon’s South Pole region.

The successful attempt of Chandrayaan 3 made India the first country to land on the moon in its south pole region. 

The cost of Chandrayaan 3 is approximately 615 crores ($75 million). It is the most affordable and successful mission to land on moon in the history. 

Chandrayaan-3 was a successful mission by the Indian Space Research Organization. It has demonstrated a soft landing on the unexplored lunar south pole of the moon and conducted in-situ research. It was launched on 14 July 2023 and landed on 23 August 2023.

Hence, we hope that this blog has assisted you in comprehending what an essay on Chandrayaan 3 must include. For more information on such interesting topics, visit our  essay writing  page and follow  Leverage Edu .

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Why does India want to be a space power? Chandrayaan-3 and the politics of India’s space programme

With its chandrayaan-3 mission, india has become the fourth nation to land on the moon. dimitrios stroikos has been exploring the complexities around the international politics of space, with a specific focus on china and india as rising powers, and the connections between power, technology and modernity. he sets out how india’s space programme has developed, and why its latest mission is largely a reflection of its great power aspirations..

On 14 July 2023, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched a rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in southern India that sent India’s third lunar exploration mission, Chandrayaan-3 , consisting of a propulsion module, a lander and a rover. The lander touched down on the surface of the moon on 23 August 2023, making India the fourth country in the world, after the United States, the Soviet Union and China, to carry out a soft landing on the moon.

According to ISRO , the three main goals of the mission were: 1) achieving a soft landing on the lunar surface; 2) realising rover roving on the lunar terrain; and 3) carrying out in-situ experiments.

After landing near the south pole region, Chandrayaan-3’s lander deployed a rover to perform in-situ analysis of the lunar surface. As outlined by ISRO, the lander and the rover have scientific payloads to explore the lunar surface, collect data and perform various experiments. From a scientific point of view, such a mission is important because the south pole region remains underexplored, and thus has the potential for scientific discoveries . For example, it is believed that this region of the moon might contain deposits of ice water. The possibility of the presence of ice water on the moon has already attracted the interest of other space agencies and private companies, especially since the extraction and use of water from the moon could support the feasibility of prolonged lunar missions and serve as a potential stepping stone towards Mars and other missions venturing deeper in space.

But while the possibilities of such discoveries hold great potential for whichever nation makes them and can contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge, as we shall see, scientific research is just one of the reasons driving India’s vigorous space endeavour.

Science alone is not usually sufficient to explain such activities. Broader political considerations and strategic dynamics may be equally or even more important drivers behind India’s forays in space and the Chandrayaan programme in particular.

More specifically, Chandrayaan-3 is not India’s first attempt at soft landing on the moon. It is essentially a follow-up mission to Chandrayaan-2 , which was launched in July 2019 and was designed to explore the lunar surface near the south pole. Chandrayaan-2 consisted of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, but it was considered a partial success . Although the lander was successfully separated from the orbiter, due to a communication breakdown it had a hard landing  500 metres from the designated site on the lunar surface in September 2019. However, since 2019 the orbiter has continued to operate successfully, providing valuable data about the moon, and it will also support the latest mission.

Chandrayaan-3 also comes roughly 15 years after India’s first lunar exploration mission, Chandrayaan-1 , which was launched in October 2008 with the goal of mapping the lunar surface. Apart from five Indian payloads, the spacecraft carried instruments from NASA, British, German and Swedish research institutes (through the European Space Agency), and Bulgaria. As such, the mission was also an example of international scientific cooperation. Eventually, Chandrayaan-1 encountered technical hurdles when ISRO lost communication with the spacecraft and the mission had to end prematurely. Still, it was considered a remarkable success, not least because data gathered from one of the NASA instruments carried on the Chandrayaan-1 mission found clear evidence of water molecules on the moon.

The international politics of outer space

Chris Alden and Dimitrios Stroikos explore the complexities around the international politics of space, addressing topics such as: the challenges underpinning the international politics of space, state and non-state engagement in space activities.

Explaining Chandrayaan and India’s space programme

Despite the fact that India has one of the world’s oldest space programmes, established in the early 1960s, the focus has been on the use of space for socio-economic development . To this end, priority was given to the development of space applications, such as communications, remote sending and meteorology, that could provide tangible practical benefits tailored to the needs of a developing and large country. This developmental rationale has been associated with the vision of Dr Vikram Sarabhai , who is considered the ‘‘father’’ of India’s space programme and was one of the most influential and respected scientists in post-independence India. Although Sarabhai was a keen supporter of the use of space technology as a way of leapfrogging some of the stages of social and economic development, he was famously against highly visible space stunts for the sake of prestige and news headlines that offered little in economic and social terms.

It was against this backdrop that Chandrayaan-1, India’s first ever space exploration mission, signalled a shift towards highly visible space projects, which seemed to be at odds with India’s traditional developmental rationale. Further reflecting this reorientation of India’s space effort, in addition to the Chandrayaan lunar programme, other notable examples include the 2013 Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) , also called Mangalyaan , and plans for India’s first human spaceflight mission, the Gaganyaan programme , which is targeted to be launched within the next few years.

As far as India is concerned, the recent focus on space exploration can largely be seen as a response to China’s emergence as a great space power.

The China factor and the quest for great power status in space

What explains this change in India’s space programme? To be sure, the potential scientific benefits of lunar missions can be significant. What is more, I have long argued that scientific internationalism has been a key feature of space activities from the beginning of the Space Age. However, science alone is not usually sufficient to explain such activities. Broader political considerations and strategic dynamics may be equally or even more important drivers behind India’s forays in space and the Chandrayaan programme in particular.

A number of observations are worth making here. First, it is useful to recognise from the outset that international imperatives have rendered space a complex domain of international relations amid a surge of interest in the use of space for military, civilian and commercial purposes. As far as India is concerned, the recent focus on space exploration can largely be seen as a response to China’s emergence as a great space power , manifested not only in a series of remarkable Chinese space achievements, but also in the ways in which Beijing uses its space programme as a foreign policy and diplomacy tool . While India’s competition with China in space increasingly involves a military component , high-profile exploration projects are part of the contest for leadership , influence and soft power in Asia, contributing to the notion of an Asian space race .

Highly visible technoscientific projects serve as markers of power, status and modernity, a practice rooted in the 19th century.

Second, and related to the previous point, underlying India’s interest in lunar exploration is its great power aspirations . Highly visible technoscientific projects serve as markers of power, status and modernity, a practice rooted in the 19th century when technoscientific advancement emerged as a standard of “civilisation” demarcating the “society of civilised states” from non-European societies through a “techno-scientific orientalist” discourse. In this way, the space programme can be understood as a powerful symbol of postcolonial India’s modernity, statehood, and national prestige . From this perspective, the pursuit of the Chandrayaan lunar programme is part of India’s effort to climb up the ladder to the top tier of the hierarchical global space order and have a bigger “seat at the table’’ of space affairs.

Domestic influences

The role of domestic politics should also be acknowledged. For example, India’s space programme is an important source of national pride and prestige, and thus Indian leaders, including the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are keen to leverage the country's achievements in space to bolster the legitimacy of their governments whenever an opportunity arises. At the same time, powerful institutions, such as ISRO, have their own organisational and bureaucratic interests that compel them to push for highly visible projects to gain political approval. Finally, apart from foreign policy and military spin-offs due to the inherent dual-use nature of space technology, Chandrayaan-3 will help to inculcate and attract young talent in space science and showcase India’s vigorous private space sector , as this is the first time that ISRO has partnered in a major mission with the private space industry.

Consequently, and given the technical problems experienced by India's previous lunar mission, the stakes for Chandrayaan-3 could not be higher. Regardless of the outcome of Chandrayaan-3, however, the success of India’s lunar programme hinges on more than simply scientific gains, encompassing broader political and strategic considerations that will continue to animate India’s space ambitions.

" International Relations and Outer Space " by Dr Dimitrios Stroikos is published by the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies. 

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Dimitrios Stroikos

LSE Fellow, Department of International Relations, LSE

Dr Dimitrios Stroikos is an LSE Fellow in the Department of International Relations at LSE and Head of the Space Policy Programme at LSE IDEAS. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Space Policy: an International Journal, hosted by LSE IDEAS.

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  • 24 August 2023

India’s Moon landing is a stellar achievement — and a win for science

You have full access to this article via your institution.

A mother along with her daughter arrives to watch landing of Chandrayaan-3's Vikram lander on Moon.

A mum and daughter celebrate yesterday’s Chandrayaan-3 landing, at the Nehru Planetarium in New Delhi. Credit: Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty

It’s hard to land on the Moon and keep your spacecraft intact. Just days ago, Russia’s Luna-25 mission crashed , dashing hopes for the country’s first trip to the Moon since 1976, when it was part of the Soviet Union. In April, a private Japanese effort also crash-landed on the lunar surface . That is one of the reasons the successful landing of the Chandrayaan-3 mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is so special.

Touchdown occurred just after 6 p.m. Indian time on 23 August near the Moon’s south pole, making India only the fourth nation (after the United States, the Soviet Union and China) to achieve a controlled lunar landing. Furthermore, India is the first to land at high latitudes, around 600 kilometres from the pole. That’s significant because the polar regions are thought to contain ice that could be a resource for future lunar exploration, for instance as a source of the components of rocket fuel.

essay on space mission of india

India lands on the Moon! Scientists celebrate as Chandrayaan-3 touches down

Earlier today, the mission’s landing module Vikram, named after physicist Vikram Sarabhai, considered the founder of India’s space programme, deployed a small rover that will study lunar rocks and dirt. The solar-powered mission is meant to last for two weeks, until lunar night hits this part of the surface.

Like the US and Russian space agencies, ISRO has learnt from a previous failure. The Chandrayaan-2 lander crashed in September 2019 , when its software could not diagnose and correct a problem with its thrusters as the craft descended to the lunar surface. ISRO engineers added many back-up systems to Chandrayaan-3, and tested more rigorously how the spacecraft could respond if things went wrong.

Dozens of missions to the Moon are planned in the coming years. The next attempt will come in the next few days, when Japan aims to send a spacecraft to test pinpoint landing techniques. It’s tempting to frame this flood of interest in the Moon as a new space race, with nations jockeying to be the first to reach particular milestones. But as space writer Jatan Mehta observed this month : “This is not the cold war era. Budgets are finite enough to not risk expensive hardware being blown amid pursuits of trivial firsts and a slight edge at best.”

essay on space mission of india

In space failure is an option — often the only one

However, lunar exploration can be seen as a new proving ground for science and engineering. Previous ISRO missions have already brought about fresh lunar science. India’s first Moon mission, the Chandrayaan-1 orbiter , launched in 2008 and helped to confirm the existence of water on the Moon with data gathered by a NASA instrument on board ( C. M. Pieters et al . Science 326 , 568–572; 2009 ). Meanwhile, the orbiter component of Chandrayaan-2, which worked even though the lander crashed, continues to map and study the lunar surface. If Chandrayaan-3 continues to function well, it will collect data on the chemistry and mineralogy of the surface.

Yury Borisov, director-general of Russian space agency Roscosmos, told state media this week that Russia’s Moonshot failure happened because the country’s lunar programme had been interrupted for almost five decades, hollowing out the expertise needed to make it to the Moon. ISRO, by contrast, has steadily built on its achievements, including ramping up its engineering talent, although it has declined to reveal how much — or how little — it spent on Chandrayaan-3.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who joined millions of people in watching the final descent, rightly said: “This success belongs to all of humanity.” It is also undoubtedly a stellar achievement for India’s scientists and engineers across many generations.

Nature 620 , 921 (2023)

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-023-02685-4

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Mangalyaan, India’s first Mars mission

The mars orbiter that boosted india’s planetary program.

Highlights Mangalyaan was India’s Mars orbiter that observed the planet from 2014 to 2022. The mission represented a leap for India in developing technologies to explore the inner solar system. Mangalyaan’s success as India’s first mission to another planet has inspired people across the country.

Why did India launch Mangalyaan?

On November 5, 2013, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched its first spacecraft bound for Mars . India built Mangalyaan (“Mars craft” in English) to study the Red Planet and test key technologies required for exploring the inner solar system. The Mangalyaan spacecraft successfully entered Mars orbit on September 23, 2014, making ISRO only the fourth space agency in the world to do so. Prior to India, only the United States, the Soviet Union and the European Space Agency (ESA) had successfully explored Mars.

Mangalyaan operated for seven and a half years, observing Martian landscapes and studying their composition using its five science instruments .

Why did ISRO launch Mangalyaan on a PSLV rocket?

ISRO originally intended to launch Mangalyaan on their Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) rocket instead of the only roughly half-as-powerful Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). As with most Mars missions , a GSLV rocket could’ve boosted Mangalyaan out of Earth orbit and onto an interplanetary trajectory to the Red Planet. But the rocket suffered two failures in 2010 , just as Mangalyaan was being conceptualized.

Fixing the identified issues in the rocket’s design and preparing for another launch could have taken at least three years, placing it close to the time-sensitive November 2013 launch window for Mars. The next launch opportunity was in 2016, so ISRO decided to launch Mangalyaan on a PSLV rocket in 2013 instead.

However, the PSLV could only place Mangalyaan in a highly elliptical Earth orbit . It would be the spacecraft’s job to fire its engines at precise points in each orbit multiple times over the next few weeks to set itself on a trajectory to Mars, or it would miss the planet entirely. The trajectory design was highly unusual for a Mars mission but it worked. Once the spacecraft arrived at the Red Planet roughly 300 days later, it fired its engines again and successfully entered Mars orbit .

Why did Mangalyaan enter a highly elliptical orbit around Mars?

Mangalyaan entered Mars orbit with its closest point to the planet at about 420 kilometers (about 261 miles) and farthest at about 80,000 kilometers (about 49,710 miles), which is a much longer orbit than contemporary Mars missions . Over the years, ISRO reduced the orbit’s size but it never appreciably changed relative to other missions. For example, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mapping mission has a nearly circular orbit of about 300 kilometers (about 186 miles) while ESA’s Mars Express has an orbit of 300 by 10,000 kilometers (about 186 by 6214 miles).

Mangalyaan’s large and highly elliptical Mars orbit was tied to its choice of launching on a PSLV rocket. For the PSLV to place Mangalyaan in the desired Earth orbit, the spacecraft couldn’t be any heavier than it was — it couldn’t carry any more fuel. And because Mangalyaan had to get out of Earth orbit by itself, it needed to use its own fuel, which complicated its Mars orbit. This impacted the spacecraft's scientific observations and mapping capabilities and is partly why Mangalyaan’s scientific output was low . However, Mangalyaan's orbit did give it a great vantage point to capture full globe views of Mars.

What technologies did ISRO develop for Mangalyaan?

ISRO built upon its experience with Chandrayaan 1, India’s first lunar orbiter, to develop Mangalyaan. The Mars spacecraft was a modified design of the Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft with upgraded components as required. For example, there were more and upgraded solar panels to make up for reduced solar energy available at Mars.

ISRO also developed the ability for its ground stations to communicate with a spacecraft on another planet. With Mangalyaan, there were two-way communication lags of up to 42 minutes; this gap also demanded enabling the spacecraft to make autonomous decisions for situations where there would be no time for humans to be in the loop, something that wasn’t necessary for Chandrayaan 1.

National response

The fact that ISRO successfully placed a spacecraft in Mars orbit on their very first attempt garnered attention and praise from people worldwide. In India, the mission had even deeper effects, aided by ISRO’s inaugural efforts to be active on social media to make people at large aware of the mission.

The mission saw several film and TV show adaptations in India, the most popular of which was the dramatized movie Mission Mangal . The national government decided to feature an illustration of Mangalyaan on the reverse side of India’s highest denomination currency note of ₹2,000 (roughly $27). Writer Minnie Vaid wrote a book called " Those Magnificent Women and their Flying Machines ," which profiles the journeys of some of the key women who had leading roles in the mission.

Future missions

With the experience gained from Mangalyaan and technologies built for it, ISRO is planning more missions to explore the inner solar system, such as the Venus orbiter Shukrayaan and the Aditya-L1 solar observatory. ISRO is also planning to launch Mangalyaan 2 in 2024 or 2026 with an upgraded orbiter and 100 kilograms (about 220 pounds) of scientific instruments. A recent talk by a veteran ISRO scientist tells us that ISRO has begun working on Mars landing technologies too. In all, mission Mangalyaan has opened up the inner solar system for India’s fledgling planetary program.

Mission end

In April 2022, ISRO lost contact with Mangalyaan after it passed into Mars' shadow for an extended period. Officials said the spacecraft likely ran out of propellant and could not orient its solar panels properly to receive power. The mission far outlived its projected six-month lifespan.

Acknowledgments: this page was initially written by Jatan Mehta in 2021. End-of-mission edits were made by Planetary Society staff.

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Stunningly detailed Mars hangs like a ruddy ornament against the blackness of space in a high-resloution global view from the Mangalyaan probe.

Dear Mangalyaan: What India's Mars mission means to me

The record-breaking orbiter inspired one writer to keep dreaming of Mars—and showed the world what our shared future in space can look like.

Dear Mangalyaan,

It’s been five years since your historic launch off the east coast of India, and over four years since you settled into orbit around Mars. You’re living my dream. I must have been around your age now when my father first took me to the Nehru Planetarium in Mumbai, to show me how large my world truly was. We sat under the half-dome of the theater, and the lights faded out into a star field denser than any sky a city child ever sees. I could have fallen into that bowl of nightlight.

I felt the beginnings of a lifelong wanderlust for space. Mars would be my first stop—a hop-skip away, I thought. My father agreed. “It should be possible to land a person on Mars within our lifetime,” he said. “It could even be you.”

That was nearly 30 years ago. Today, you, Mangalyaan, represent what happens when people are bold enough to say something as audacious as, “It could even be you.” Indian scientists took less than two years to build you, and from your launch on November 5, 2013 , to your capture in Mars orbit on September 24, 2014 , you traveled more than 400 million miles.

Yours has been a remarkable voyage: nearly half of all attempted missions to Mars have failed , but with your success, India became the first country to put a spacecraft in orbit around another planet on its first try. What’s more, India accomplished this feat on a tiny budget : 4.5 billion rupees, or U.S. $73 million—less than the budgets of science fiction blockbusters like The Martian or Gravity .

And while your official objectives are scientific in nature, I cannot overlook your unofficial mission: to stoke young Indians’ interest in engineering and astronomy. I will leave it to others to explain how you’ve inspired their career paths. Perhaps they will note with pride that indigenous know-how built the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle , the rocket that carried you into space. Perhaps they’ll cite the photos from the mission control room, when you sent word you’d made it—images of jubilant women staffers in saris, role models who resembled their mothers and grandmothers .

Fast Facts: Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission)


Agency: Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)

Launch Date: November 5, 2013

Launch Vehicle: ISRO Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)

Mars Orbital Insertion: September 23, 2014

Mass: 1,075 pounds (488 kilograms)

Power Source: 840-watt solar panel array

Their stories, and yours, motivate future generations of scientists who’ll spearhead the next Indian mission to Mars , or Venus , or back to the moon .

For Hungry Minds

Engineering was never my expertise—I am a writer, a daydreamer. The only things I would pack for Mars are a box of paints, pens, and paper. But your presence allows me to imagine myself in your wake: not charting flight trajectories or studying the composition of Mars’s atmosphere, but writing poetry and sketching postcard vistas to send back home.

During your orbit’s closest approach, some 300 kilometers above the surface, we may drift over Olympus Mons, three times higher than the Himalayas’ Mount Everest , or Valles Marineris, a canyon longer than India itself that cuts up to four miles into the red planet’s surface. Then we’ll swoop out to the farthest point of your elliptical orbit, some 71,000 kilometers away. From this distance, you are in a unique position to capture Mars as a full globe —the planet resembles a cup of tea we share, a touch milky where clouds have gathered, resting upon a sugar-sprinkled black tablecloth.

I want to thank you for making space for me at the table. We both know how difficult it has been to get here.

The Indian Space Research Organization , the group that built you, was formed in 1969, the same year as the Apollo 11 moon landing. The timing is no coincidence. My father followed the news as it unfolded: the Cold War, the Space Race, one technological breakthrough after the other as the United States and the Soviet Union competed for military might. India, meanwhile, was a mere two decades post-Independence, rapidly modernizing and eager to establish a sense of self-reliance. Investing in space would let us build a telecommunications infrastructure, monitor our weather, survey our agriculture and natural resources, and conduct basic scientific research.

To this day, ISRO’s goal is to use space-based technology to foster national development , because even as we look to the stars for inspiration, our feet remain firmly planted on Earth. You are rightly feted, Mangalyaan—there’s even an image of you on our new 2,000-rupee note . But the current United Nations Human Development Indicators for India suggest that to earn this much money, roughly U.S. $27, more than 40 percent of India’s employed population would need to work for a week and a half. I follow your discoveries on the internet, a resource only 30 percent of the Indian population can access.

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ISRO is presently one of just six government organizations around the world that can design, launch, and recover satellites and operate space probes—yet women in India represent a little over a quarter of the share of university graduates with degrees in the sciences, mathematics, engineering, and related fields. You symbolize where we come from and where we wish to go.

Exploring Mars in Photos

essay on space mission of india

My father grew up keenly aware of educational and career-access disparities in India, which is why he moved our family soon after I was born. We went as far as he could afford: Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. I hopped countries twice after that, and now, I live halfway around the world from my place of birth. You know what that feels like. Home is not a place for you: it’s the people who made you, the things you carry inside, and the people you write back to with missives about your latest experiences.

My father still lives in Dubai. Presently, I live in Panama. Just as you transmit data back home, we email each other the latest news about Mars. Did he watch the Curiosity landing livestream?, I write. Did I know more than 10,000 people applied to be a part of Mars One’s one-way trip to the red planet ?, he writes. Elon Musk wants to set up a colony there, can you believe it?, I ask him. My father says he wishes he could go. I tell him we could never afford it.

As public interest in Mars continues to grow, I begin to fear a repeat of the old news from my father’s time of countries flexing their muscles to be the first to put a flag on Martian soil. Indians know the cost of colonization, as do most citizens of the global South. I am just one voice among 1.3 billion, but I use it to say that India orbits Mars today not because it wants a slice of that cold red pie, but because everyone deserves it. Space is our common heritage , no matter our place of birth or our means of access.

Mangalyaan, if you’ve shown me anything, it’s that there’s more than one way to get as far as you’d like to go, and the tenacity of the people who built you gives me a sense of hope. When I think back to my time at the Nehru Planetarium, no one told me I didn’t have a right to look up at the stars and see myself out there among them. On the contrary, I was encouraged to imagine freely—to feel that I could choose my own orbit.

You mean a lot to us, Mangalyaan. I say this now not as a member of the Indian diaspora, but as a very young girl in complete awe of the size of the known universe. We are all of us so small, and so lucky to be alive at a time when everything we discover makes our world seem larger, more complex, more profound than we knew before.

Thank you for showing us that we are capable of such discovery, that we are resourceful even with the odds stacked against us. Thank you for showing us that we belong.

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Indian Space Program: Phases and Achievements

Last updated on January 5, 2024 by ClearIAS Team

Indian Space Program

Indian Space Research Organization ( ISRO ) is the nodal agency and flag bearer in the Indian Space Program.

The Indian Space Program is guided by a probabilistic perspective. It is a regional development instrument. This built on an optical fibre network and wireless communication devices.

Learn more about this topic.

Also read: Aditya-L1 Mission

Table of Contents

Objectives of the Indian Space Program

ISRO has also contributed to science and science education in the country. The Department of Space oversees several dedicated research centers and independent organizations for remote sensing, astronomy and astrophysics, atmospheric sciences, and space sciences in general. the objectives of the Indian Space Program are twofold:

  • Space discovery and exploration through space missions.
  • Promotion of research and education related to space science in the country. E.g. Tele-education in remote areas in India.

Some of the other functions of the Indian Space Program are:

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  • Resource management such as mineral resources, agriculture, marine resources, etc.
  • Environment conservation.
  • Internal security and terrorism. E.g. use of IRNSS for regional security.
  • Weather forecasting.
  • Disaster Management.

Also read about SSLV , PSLV , and GSLV .

Communications satellites India

Communications satellites allow radio, television, and telephone transmissions to be sent live anywhere in the world. The purpose of communications satellites is to relay the signal around the curve of the Earth allowing communication between widely separated points. Communication Satellites use Microwaves and Radio waves for transmitting signals.

Indian National Satellite (INSAT) Series

  • With nine operational communication satellites in Geo-stationary orbit, the Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system is one of the largest domestic communication satellite systems in the Asia-Pacific area.
  • INSAT System consists of 14 operational satellites, namely – INSAT-3A, 3C, 4A, 4B, 4CR, 3DR and GSAT-6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15 and 16.
  • Educational TV Services
  • Telemedicine Programme
  • Satellite-Aided Search and Rescue
  • Disaster management
  • Helps in geopolitics like the SAARC satellite.
  • Helps in the commercialization of space programs, like launching the communication satellites of Russia USA, etc.

Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS)

  • ISRO has deployed numerous operational remote sensing satellites since IRS-1A in 1988. India now operates one of the largest constellations of remote-sensing satellites.
  • IRS satellite consists of CARTOSAT, OCEANSAT & RISAT (Resource Sat) Satellites

Application of IRS satellites:

  • Disaster Management Support
  • BioResources and Environment survey and mapping e.g. RESOURCESAT
  • Cartography e.g. CARTOSAT
  • Agriculture & Soil
  • Rural and Urban Development e.g. National Drinking Water mission

Important Milestones in the Indian Space Program

Phase I: 1960-70 (Incipient Stage)

  • Dr. Vikram Sarabhai is regarded as a scientific visionary as well as the founding father of the Indian space programme.
  • He recognized the potential of satellites after the launch of Sputnik in 1957. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, who considered scientific advancement as an important component of India’s future, placed space research under the jurisdiction of the Department of Atomic Energy in 1961.
  • Homi Bhabha, the father of India’s atomic programme, then founded the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) in 1962, with Dr. Sarabhai as Chairman.
  • The Indian space programme began establishing itself with the launch of sounding rockets in 1962, which was aided by India’s geographical proximity to the equator.
  • Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) was built near Thiruvananthapuram in south Kerala.
  • India developed an indigenous technology of sounding rockets called the Rohini Family of sounding rockets.
  • The India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was established in 1969, and the Department of Space was established in 1972.

Phase II: 1970-80

  • Sarabhai had participated in an early NASA study on the viability of employing satellites for uses as diverse as direct television broadcasting.
  • India began developing satellite technology in anticipation of future remote sensing and communication requirements.
  • India’s first venture into space occurred in 1975, with the launch of their satellite Aryabhata by a Soviet launcher.
  • By 1979, the SLV was ready to launch from the Sriharikota Rocket Launching Station, a newly created second launch site (SRLS).
  • The first launch in 1979 failed due to a control malfunction in the second stage. This problem had been solved by 1980.
  • The first indigenous satellite launched by India was called Rohini.

Phase III: 1980-90

  • Following the success of the SLV, ISRO was eager to begin work on a satellite launch vehicle capable of placing a truly useful satellite into polar orbit.
  • In 1987, the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) was tested, but the launch failed. After modest adjustments, another launch attempt was made in 1988, which also failed.

Phase IV: 1990-2000

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  • It was not until 1992 that the first successful launch of the ASLV took place.
  • Since its first successful launch in 1994, the PSLV has become the workhorse launch vehicle, launching both remote sensing and communications satellites into orbit, establishing the world’s largest cluster, and giving unique data to Indian industry and agriculture.

Developments after 2000

  • In 2001, the first development flight of the GSLV took place.
  • As the first attempt at exploring the solar system, India pursued a mission to send unmanned probes to the moon in 2008 namely Chandrayaan.
  • ISRO has entered the lucrative industry of launching foreign payloads from Indian soil using its rockets.
  • After 2010, ISRO embarked on the following programmes: Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), and next-generation GSLV Mark-III launch vehicle missions are part of the launch vehicle development programme.
  • The Earth Observation programme includes cutting-edge Indian remote sensing (IRS) satellites such as Resourcesat, Cartosat, Oceansat, Radar Imaging Satellite, Geo-Imaging Satellite, and weather/climate satellites such as INSAT-3DR missions.
  • The satellite navigation programme consists of a constellation of seven Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) satellites and an associated ground segment designed to deliver accurate positional and timing information.

India’s Manned Mission to Space

  • Three flights will be sent into orbit.
  • There will be two unmanned flights and one human spaceflight.
  • The Gaganyaan system module, known as the Orbital Module, would house three Indian astronauts, one of whom would be a woman.
  • For 5-7 days, it will circle the Earth in a low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 300-400 km.
  • In addition, to assure crew safety during the Gaganyaan mission, ISRO will perform two unmanned ‘Abort Missions’ in 2022.

Scramjet (Supersonic Combusting Ramjet) engine

  • In August 2016, ISRO successfully conducted the Scramjet (Supersonic Combusting Ramjet) engine test.
  • The Scramjet engine uses Hydrogen as fuel and Oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidizer.
  • This test was the maiden short-duration experimental test of ISRO’s Scramjet engine with a hypersonic flight at Mach 6.
  • ISRO’s Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), a futuristic-sounding rocket, served as the solid rocket booster for the supersonic testing of Scramjet engines.
  • The new propulsion system will complement ISRO’s reusable launch vehicle that will have a longer flight duration.
  • IN-SPACe was launched to provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure.
  • It serves as a single point of contact between the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and anyone interested in participating in space-related activities or utilizing India’s space resources.

NewSpace India Limited (NSIL):

  • It is a Central Public Sector Enterprise of the Government of India that was founded in 2019 and is managed by the Department of Space.
  • It is ISRO’s commercial arm, and its major purpose is to enable Indian enterprises to engage in high-technology space-related operations.
  • It is headquartered in Bengaluru.

Indian Space Association (ISpA):

  • ISpAaspires to be the collective voice of the Indian Space industry. ISpA will be represented by leading domestic and global corporations that have advanced capabilities in space and satellite technologies.


  • The 53 rd flight of PSLV-C51 marked the first dedicated mission for New Space India Ltd (NSIL), the commercial arm of ISRO.
  • Amazonia-1, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) optical earth observation satellite, would offer users remote sensing data for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon region and analyzing diverse agriculture across the Brazilian territory.

UNITYsat (three satellites):

  • They have been deployed to provide Radio relay services.
  • Satish Dhawan Satellite (SDSAT) is a nanosatellite intended to study the radiation levels/space weather and demonstrate long-range communication technologies.

Upcoming Missions:

  • Chandrayaan-3 Mission:   Chandrayaan-3 is likely to be launched during the third quarter of 2022.
  • EOS-4 (Risat-1A) and EOS-6 (Oceansat-3) — will be launched using ISRO’s workhorse PSLV, and the third one,  EOS-2 (Microsat) , will be launched in the first developmental flight of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).
  • These satellites will be launched in the first quarter of 2022.
  • Shukrayaan Mission:  The ISRO is also planning a mission to Venus, tentatively called Shukrayaan .
  • Own Space Station : India is planning to launch its space station by 2030 , joining the league of the US, Russia, and China to an elite space club
  • XpoSat:  Space observatory, XpoSat, designed to study cosmic x-rays.
  • There are five Lagrangian points between any two celestial bodies on the satellite where the gravitational attraction of both bodies is equivalent to the force required to keep the satellite in orbit without spending fuel, implying a parking area in space.

Also read:  Space missions in 2024

Article Written by: Remya

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India’s Space Exploration Affairs Essay

  • To find inspiration for your paper and overcome writer’s block
  • As a source of information (ensure proper referencing)
  • As a template for you assignment

Ever since the early 1960s when the first manned space mission was successfully accomplished, space exploration has become easier nowadays. Even though much has been achieved in space exploration since then, humans’ desire for further outer space experimentation has never ceased. Currently, a visit on Mars is the central focus of modern space exploration, and this would come after a couple of successful space explorations that would see man step on the moon a few decades ago. So far, several countries such as Russia, the US, and the European Union have successfully managed to send people to Mars (Burke, 2013).

Despite the scientific and technological achievements associated with space exploration, this experience has brought a lot of national pride and fame for the three nations. India is likely to be the next country to join in this glory, following the launch of their first spacecraft to Mars on November 13, 2013. Even though the success of this exploration will earn India a lot of fame, the mission can never be justified, considering the diverse issues surrounding the country’s population that should have come first.

Space exploration has become a key area of concern for modern scientists and this is evident from the many attempts being undertaken in the world today to explore every bit of the outer space. The history of space exploration dates backs over 70 years when several experimental rocket launches were conducted time after time by the Soviet Union (Siddiqi, 2003). This came as a result of man’s big desire to travel to space and get to explore the outer space environment. This riddle, however, appeared to get an answer when the Soviet Union successfully managed to send two satellites into space in 1957.

This achievement resulted into the space race and this would, in turn help to facilitate the revolution in space exploration. With the rampant advancement in modern technology, space exploration is becoming easier and safer nowadays. This explains the reason why it is possible for any country to assume that it can easily embark on outer space explorations. However, such space explorations are usually costly and are only fit for developed nations, but not for a country like India which is struggling to feed its population.

India is a country with a long history of poverty. According to recent reports, even though poverty levels in the country have significantly declined over the years, there are still hundreds of millions of Indians who are languishing in adept poverty today. These high levels of poverty have continued to impose an oppressive weight on the citizens, especially in the rural India where over 70 percent of the country’s poor live. India is said to have the highest concentration of poor people living below the poverty line in the world (Gupta, 2008). This however, has been a major barrier to economic opportunities in the country.

This clearly explains why India has lagged behind other Asian countries in matters involving economic development. Even though India has tried to apply some effective interventions that have helped to improve its ailing economy, there is still an opportunity for the country to reexamine its approach to deal with poverty. In this regard, I believe it would have made much sense if the $72 million allocated for the space program was used to improve the living standards of the Indians, rather than being used for a pride-seeking experiment that will never help the citizens in any way.

Apart from the issues of poverty and hunger in India where over 40 percent of children are said to be malnourished, the country is also associated with a failing infrastructure in almost all sectors. Some key buildings in major urban centres are dilapidated and most roads are in bad shape, thus making it difficulty for people to drive on them. It is also very clear that half of the country’s population lack toilets, among other significant facilities such as proper shelter and health care services.

Moreover, India is a place where people are used to ruining public property, especially when they are demonstrating. In fact, this has over the time contributed to poor management of solid waste and sewerage in most parts of the country. As a result of this, dirty places that are characterized by garbage on the roads and uncovered drains have become more common in most parts of India. As a matter of fact, one can never stop wondering how a country with so many basic needs can afford to undertake such a costly space program.

As Kingdon (2007) observes, recent demographic statistics have shown about 40 percent of the Indian population to be illiterate and unemployed. Obviously, high population growth rates such as the ones witnessed in India usually come with a lot of effects on people. For instance, there would be a high competition for available facilities and resources. In this regard, only a little percentage of the population is likely to have full access of the resources. This scenario can be used to explain the case of India where the number of learning facilities is far less than the level needed to adequately cater for the educational needs of every child in the country. Based on these observations, there is no doubt that there is need for more schools in India to ensure that more children can access education. In that case, the money intended for the Mars space program would have had a better use in such facilities that are likely to bring positive impacts on the country’s future economic development.

Based on the observations made on this paper, India’s space program cannot be anything else but a space race between the country and its rivals from Asia, particularly China. There can never be any doubt about this conclusion, considering the fact that India is focused on showcasing its technology more than it is concerned about the welfare of its population. It is unimaginable that the Indian government can even think of investing in a space program that would cost the taxpayers over $70m while the same taxpayers are suffering due to lack of common basic needs (Lele, 2013).

Even though the space mission can be a big milestone in India’s space exploration affairs, it could have waited until India reaches the status of a fully-developed economy like China, which is their main regional rival in such plans. In my opinion, I strongly believe that India would have achieved much national pride if it focused more on things that mattered for its citizens rather than going for costly programs such as the Mars mission that would only succeed in slowing down the country’s economic progress.

Burke, J. (2013, November 5). ISRO to launch India’s first spacecraft to Mars . The Guardian , p. 17. Web.

Gupta, K. (2008). Poverty in India . United Kingdom: Atlantic Books. Web.

Kingdon, G. (2007). The progress of school education in India. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 23 (2), 168-195. Web.

Lele, A. (2013). Mission Mars: India’s Quest for the Red Planet . New York: Springer. Web.

Siddiqi, A. (2003). The Soviet space race with Apollo . Florida: University Press of Florida. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020, May 12). India's Space Exploration Affairs. https://ivypanda.com/essays/indias-space-programs/

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General Studies

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Study Material

Indian Space Programs

Prelims : General Science

Mains : Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology; Indigenization of Technology and Developing New Technology.

India has one of the world's most active space programmes, with a diverse set of missions and accomplishments in the space sector. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is India's primary space agency. It has made significant contributions in areas such as satellite launch technology, remote sensing, and space exploration, from launching its very first satellite in 1975 to embarking on interplanetary missions such as Mangalyaan to Mars and Chandrayaan to the Moon.

Experimental Satellites

ISRO has launched a number of small satellites, primarily for research purposes. These experiment satellites include Remote Sensing, Atmospheric Studies, Payload Development, Orbit control, Recovery technology, etc.

Communication Satellites

Communication satellites are man-made satellites that provide communication links between various locations on Earth . Communication satellites are critical components of the global communications system. Most communications satellites consist of Solar cells and batteries, antennas, transponders and orientation and propulsion systems.


  • ISRO has launched various communication satellites with INSAT and GSAT satellites being the important ones.
  • With 9 operational communication satellites in Geo-stationary orbit, the INSAT system is one of the largest domestic communication satellite systems in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Applications: With over 200 transponders in the C, Extended C, and Ku bands , the INSAT system supports telecommunications, television broadcasting, satellite newsgathering, societal applications, weather forecasting, disaster warning, and search and rescue operations.
  • Later in the 2000s, ISRO started developing GSAT satellites to augment the capacity of the INSAT system and to provide new telecommunications services, such as broadband internet and mobile telephony.
  • While INSAT satellites are multipurpose satellites, GSAT satellites, on the other hand, are primarily dedicated to telecommunications services. 
  • Both INSAT and GSAT satellites are placed in the Geosynchronous Orbit.

Earth Observation Satellites

Earth observation satellites are satellites that observe various Earth phenomena from space.

  • ISRO has launched numerous operational remote sensing satellites since IRS-1A in 1988. India now operates one of the largest constellations of remote-sensing satellites .
  • Applications : Agriculture, water resources, urban planning, rural development, mineral prospecting, the environment, forestry, ocean resources, and disaster management.

Navigation Satellites

Satellite navigation service is a new satellite-based system with commercial and strategic applications. ISRO has developed and launched a series of navigation satellites to establish and enhance India's regional navigation capabilities. Navigation satellites are important for civil aviation requirements, navigation and time-based positioning.

GPS-Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN)

gagan configuration

  • It is a satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) jointly developed by ISRO and the Airport Authority of India (AAI).
  • The system will be compatible with other international SBAS systems and will allow for seamless navigation across regional borders.
  • GSAT-8 and GSAT-10 provide access to the GAGAN Signal-In-Space (SIS).

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS): NavIC

irnss navic

  • NavIC was erstwhile known as the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System ( IRNSS )
  • It is intended to provide accurate position, navigation and timing services to users in India and regions extending up to 1500 kilometres from its boundary .
  • It provides Standard Positioning Service (SPS) for all users and Restricted Service (RS) for authorised users.

Small Satellites

The small satellite project aims to provide a platform for stand-alone payloads for earth imaging and science missions in a short period of time.

  • Payload capability: IMS-1 bus -nearly 30 kg, while IMS-2 bus - nearly 100 kg.

Space Explorations of ISRO

ISRO has made significant strides in space science and exploration missions, conducting missions that have expanded our understanding of astronomy, astrophysics, celestial bodies and space.

Future Space Programmes of ISRO

According to ISRO, the following are the upcoming programmes:

PYQs on Indian Space Programs

Question 1: India has achieved remarkable successes in unmanned space missions including the Chandrayaan and Mars Orbiter Mission, but has not ventured into manned space missions, both in terms of technology and logistics. Explain critically (UPSC Mains 2017)

Question 2: What do you understand about ‘standard positioning systems’ and ‘protection positioning systems’ in the GPS era? Discuss the advantages India perceives from its ambitious IRNSS programme employing just seven satellites. (UPSC Mains 2015)

Question 3: With reference to the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), consider the following statements: (UPSC Prelims 2018)

  • IRNSS has three satellites in geostationary and four satellites in geosynchronous orbits.
  • IRNSS covers the entire India and about 5500 sq. km beyond its borders.
  • India will have its own satellite navigation system with full global coverage by the middle of 2019.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • 1 and 2 only
  • 2 and 3 only

Answer: (a)

FAQs on Indian Space Programs

Who is responsible for india’s space programs.

ISRO (Indian Space and Research Organisation) is the primary agency for conducting India’s space programs.

When was India's first satellite launched?

Aryabhata, India's first satellite, was launched in 1975 using the C-1 Intercosmos launch vehicle. It is India's first satellite, completely designed and manufactured in the country.

What are the communication satellites launched by ISRO?

ISRO has launched several communication satellites, including GSAT and INSAT series satellites. The INSAT system is a domestic communication satellite system supporting various applications such as telecommunications, television broadcasting, and weather forecasting.

What is the navigation satellite system of ISRO?

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is an autonomous regional satellite navigation system that provides accurate real-time positioning and timing services. The operational name of the IRNSS is NavIC, which stands for Navigation with Indian Constellation.

What are some upcoming space programmes of ISRO?

ISRO has planned missions like Gaganyaan (human spaceflight), X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat), NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) Satellite, and indigenous space stations like the International Space Station.

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Essay on India’s Achievements in Space

Students are often asked to write an essay on India’s Achievements in Space in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on India’s Achievements in Space


India has made great strides in space exploration. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) leads these efforts, launching numerous satellites and missions.

Chandrayaan Missions

ISRO launched Chandrayaan-1 in 2008, marking India’s first lunar probe. Chandrayaan-2, launched in 2019, aimed to land on the moon, showcasing India’s ambitions.

Mars Orbiter Mission

The Mars Orbiter Mission, or Mangalyaan, launched in 2013, made India the first Asian nation to reach Mars orbit and the first globally to do so in its maiden attempt.

Satellite Launches

India has launched over 100 satellites, serving various purposes like communication, weather monitoring, and navigation.

Future Plans

ISRO plans to launch Gaganyaan, its first manned mission, and continue exploring the moon, Mars, Venus, and the Sun.

250 Words Essay on India’s Achievements in Space

India’s journey into space began with the establishment of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1969. Under the visionary leadership of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the nation embarked on an ambitious journey to explore the cosmos.

Launching Satellites

India’s first significant achievement in space was the launch of Aryabhata, its first satellite, in 1975. This was followed by the launch of Bhaskara, Rohini, and INSAT series, affirming India’s growing capabilities in satellite technology. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also known as Mangalyaan, marked a landmark achievement, making India the first Asian nation to reach Mars orbit and the first globally to do so in its maiden attempt.

Indigenous Developments

India’s space program stands out for its emphasis on indigenous technology. The development of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) are noteworthy achievements. The successful testing of the GSLV Mark III, capable of carrying heavier payloads, further underscores India’s self-reliance in space technology.

India’s lunar missions, Chandrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2, have significantly contributed to lunar science. Chandrayaan-1 discovered traces of water on the moon, a groundbreaking discovery that has reshaped our understanding of Earth’s satellite.

India’s accomplishments in space are a testament to the nation’s scientific prowess and determination. The upcoming Gaganyaan mission, aiming to send humans into space, signifies the next leap forward. Despite budget constraints, India’s space program has achieved remarkable feats, inspiring a new generation of scientists and positioning the country as a global space power.

500 Words Essay on India’s Achievements in Space

India’s journey into space exploration began with small steps in the late 1960s and has since evolved into a fully-fledged space program that is recognized globally. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been the pioneer and driving force behind this success.

Early Achievements

India’s first satellite, Aryabhata, was launched by the Soviet Union in 1975. However, the real breakthrough came in 1980 when ISRO successfully launched Rohini, its first indigenously developed satellite, into orbit using the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV). This was a significant achievement, marking India’s entry into the select group of nations capable of launching their own satellites.

Progress in Satellite Technology

Over the years, India has developed a range of satellites serving different purposes. The Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system, launched in the 1980s, revolutionized communications, meteorology, and broadcasting in India. The Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites have been instrumental in managing natural resources and monitoring environmental factors.

ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 mission in 2008 was a major milestone. The mission discovered water molecules on the moon, contributing significantly to lunar science. This was followed by the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), or Mangalyaan, in 2013, making India the first Asian country to reach Mars orbit and the only one to do so on its first attempt.

Development of Launch Vehicles

Parallel to satellite development, ISRO has also made significant strides in launch vehicle technology. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has been ISRO’s workhorse, with a remarkable track record of successful launches. The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and its variants have enabled India to launch heavier satellites into geostationary orbits.

The successful testing of the GSLV Mark III, India’s heaviest rocket, and the development of reusable launch vehicle technology demonstrate ISRO’s commitment to innovation and cost-effectiveness.

Human Spaceflight and Future Endeavors

India’s ambitions are not limited to unmanned missions. The Gaganyaan mission, scheduled for 2022, aims to send Indian astronauts into space, further cementing India’s place in space exploration.

ISRO also has plans for missions to study the sun (Aditya-L1), Venus (Shukrayaan-1), and a second mission to Mars (Mangalyaan-2). The proposed Chandrayaan-3 mission aims to land an Indian rover on the moon.

India’s achievements in space have been remarkable, especially considering the resource constraints. These achievements have not only advanced scientific understanding but also have practical applications for everyday life, from weather forecasting to communication and disaster management. As India continues its journey into the cosmos, one can expect further groundbreaking discoveries and advancements in technology. This journey is a testament to India’s spirit of exploration and its capacity for technological innovation.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

If you’re looking for more, here are essays on other interesting topics:

  • Essay on India in Space
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Apart from these, you can look at all the essays by clicking here .

Happy studying!

One Comment

Tqsm sir…. From this essay I knew very much about the achievements of india in the field of space…….🙏🏻🙏🏻

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essay on space mission of india

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India's goal is to have us$ 44 billion space economy by 2033: in-space chief.

  • June 3, 2024

The launch of Agnikul Cosmos' Agnibaan rocket marks a significant milestone for India's space sector, showcasing the country's capability in complex rocket technology with the use of a semi-cryogenic engine. This launch, along with the developments by other private companies like Skyroot Aerospace and the upcoming Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLV), positions India to become a global hub for small satellite launches. IN-SPACe, the commercial arm of ISRO, is facilitating this growth by establishing a dedicated launch centre at Kulasekharapatnam and promoting private sector participation. The increasing number of startups, which has grown from 21 to over 200 since September 2021, reflects the rapid advancement and commercialization in the sector.

The small satellite market is anticipated to be a major revenue source, with each launch vehicle potentially valued at Rs. 30-50 crore (US$ 3.60 million to US$ 6.00 million), contributing significantly to India's projected US$ 44 billion space economy by 2033. The new space and FDI policies have garnered positive global responses, encouraging foreign investment and business collaborations. As the sector prepares for substantial investment and revenue generation, IN-SPACe is also working on establishing a comprehensive Space Law to embed the regulatory framework into the parliamentary system, further solidifying India's space industry's legal and operational structure.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.

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India's Top 5 Space Mission 2023

Here is a year ender 2023 comprising the list of isro’s space achievements. from chandrayaan-3 to aditya-l1, gaganyaan mission to signing artemis accords, india aims to build an indian space station by 2035 and land the first indian on the lunar surface by 2040.  .

Roopashree Sharma

India's space agency, India Space Research Organisation (ISRO), blazed a trail in 2023. Not only did it become the first nation to land on the Moon's south pole with Chandrayaan-3, but it also launched its first dedicated sun-observing spacecraft, Aditya L1. These groundbreaking feats further solidified India's position as the 5th country with complete space research and development capabilities.

Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space, in a reply to Lok Sabha question, " “India is the fifth amongst spacefaring nations having end-to-end capabilities in space research and development, including the capability to launch from our own land and operate programs of earth observation, satellite communication, meteorology, space science & navigation and ground infrastructure.”

Dr. Singh further added, “27 satellites and 22 Launch Vehicle missions have been accomplished during the period (July 2018 – July 2023), besides the successful Pad Abort Test (PAT) to qualify the Crew Escape System (CES) in July 2018 and the Reusable Launch Vehicle autonomous landing mission in April 2023”.

Chandrayaan-3 Mission

Congratulations @isro . Another technology milestone achieved in our future space endeavours including our goal to send an Indian to Moon by 2040. https://t.co/emUnLsg2EA — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 6, 2023

Aditya-L1 Mission

Aditya-L1 Mission: The SUIT payload captures full-disk images of the Sun in near ultraviolet wavelengths The images include the first-ever full-disk representations of the Sun in wavelengths ranging from 200 to 400 nm. They provide pioneering insights into the intricate details… pic.twitter.com/YBAYJ3YkUy — ISRO (@isro) December 8, 2023

Reusable Launch Vehicle Test

Gaganyaan module propulsion system test, teleos-2 mission.

In addition to these feats, ISRO also holds a few more accolades. On April 22nd, 2023, India's ISRO successfully launched two Singaporean satellites in a mission known as TeLEOS-2. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C55) carried the main payload, TeLEOS-2, weighing 741 kg, and a smaller co-passenger satellite, Lumelite-4, weighing 16 kg.

That is not all.

India aims to build an Indian space station by 2035 and land the first Indian on the lunar surface by 2040. On June 21, 2023, India also officially joined the Artemis Accords, becoming the 27th nation to do so. India's participation in the Artemis Accords marks a new chapter in its space exploration journey. This international agreement, led by the US, aims to establish a sustainable and peaceful framework for lunar exploration and development. This opens doors for India for joint research, resource sharing, and technology exchange with global partners like NASA, JAXA, and ESA.

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essay on space mission of india

An Indian Astronaut Could Be On International Space Station This Year

I n a major boost to India's space mission, the country could soon have an astronaut at the International Space Station (ISS). US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti has said America will send an Indian astronaut to the ISS by the end of this year. “We are going to put an Indian astronaut into the International Space Station this year," he said on Wednesday.

Promised to Modi in 2023

“We promised when PM (Narendra) Modi came (to the US in 2023) that by the end of this year, we will do this and our mission is still on track to be able to go into space this year,” he added.

Garcetti further said that the NISAR project, a joint Earth-observing mission between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is also likely to be launched by the end of the year.

Also read:  International Space Station Will Be Visible To Naked Eyes

What is ISS

The ISS, which was launched in 1998, is a joint mission of five space agencies - NASA (US), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).

The ISS is larger than a six-bedroom house with six sleeping quarters, two bathrooms, a gym, and a 360-degree view bay window and can accommodate a maximum of eight crew members at a time. 

Astronauts and cosmonauts stationed at the ISS also regularly conduct spacewalks for space station construction, maintenance, and upgrades.

Also read:  International Space Station Captures Breathtaking View Of Bengaluru

Sunita Williams on ISS

Indian-origin astronaut Sunita Williams has spent a total of 322 days on the ISS during her two missions. With 50 hours and 40 minutes, she is second on the list of total cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut.

In November 2023, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson had said that the agency would train an Indian astronaut for a voyage to the ISS.

Indians who have been to space

So far, Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma is the only Indian citizen to travel in space. Sharma, an Indian Air Force pilot, flew aboard the USSR's Soyuz T-11 in April 1984 as part of the Interkosmos program and stayed in space for 7 days, 21 hours, and 40 minutes.

Aviator Gopi Thotakura is set to become the second Indian to venture into space and the first space tourist from the country aboard Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin's NS-25 mission.

For more news and current affairs from around the world, please visit  Indiatimes News.

 An Indian Astronaut Could Be On International Space Station This Year

China probe lands on moon’s far side in first-ever sample retrieval mission

The Chang’e-6 landing marks China’s second descent on the far side of the moon, where no other country has reached.

essay on space mission of india

China has landed an uncrewed spacecraft on the far side of the moon, overcoming a key hurdle in its landmark mission to retrieve the world’s first rock and soil samples from the dark lunar hemisphere.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) said in a statement that the Chang’e-6 touched down in the South Pole-Aitken Basin at 6:23am Beijing time on Sunday after completing a multistage landing process.

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The craft’s mission, which was guided by a relay satellite to navigate the side of the moon that is always facing away from Earth along with an array of tools and its own launcher, “involves many engineering innovations, high risks and great difficulty”, according to the sapce agency.

After another landing in 2019, this is China’s second descent on the far side of the moon, where no other country has reached.

The mission seeks to use a robot arm and a drill to collect 2kg (4.4lb) of lunar material over up to three days. After collection is complete, the craft will join up with another spacecraft in lunar orbit to facilitate its return to Earth, with a landing in China’s Inner Mongolia region expected around June 25.

If the samples make it safely back, they will provide China and the world with new insights into the formation of the solar system and differences between the unexplored side of the moon and its better-understood side facing Earth. Chinese scientists will first have access to the material, followed by international peers.

China has also had a successful sample retrieval mission from the near side of the moon, having brought back 1.7kg (3.7lb) of material using the Chang’e-5 mission in 2020.

The emerging power is planning three more uncrewed missions this decade as part of a broader strategy that wants to see Chinese astronauts walking on the moon by around 2030.

The United States also aims to put astronauts back on the moon for the first time in over half a century, with NASA planning to launch its Artemis 3 mission in 2026 at the earliest.

The US plans heavily rely on private sector rockets, including those by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, to launch spacecraft.

They have been repeatedly delayed, with technical issues delaying the planned launch of NASA and Boeing’s Starliner, which is meant to become the second US space taxi to low-Earth orbit.

Also on Saturday, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa cancelled a private mission around the moon, which was supposed to have used SpaceX’s Starship, citing uncertainties in the rocket’s development.

The Next Frontier: Black professionals aim high for NASA, STEM-related passions

Black, women and other minorities set eyes on the future with increasing roles in stem-related workforces as part of the artemis generation..

essay on space mission of india

T’mari Bowe is cruising at 100 mph, some 2,300 feet off the ground with his eyes locked on the tri-sectional screen depicting an animated flyover of lush Florida coastland. 

“I think I’m too high, I’m going to go closer to the ground,” the 16-year-old says, staring ahead in a moment of concentration. At his side, youth aviation instructor Ramone Hemphill monitors the teen’s efforts at the helm of the Federal Aviation Administration-certified basic training flight simulator.

In one way, the Eau Gallie High School student is still a rarity: young, Black and immersed in the fast expanding worlds of science, engineering and technology. But on the other hand, he represents a small but growing number of others who look like him in the STEM sector .

“He’s the real thing — amazing,” said Hemphill, an accomplished engineer and pilot in Palm Bay who teaches minority youth the art of avionics and flying.

This was once seen as uncharted territory for students like T'mari, who more often were pushed toward sports, business, the arts and the military as the traditional routes for success for Black professionals.

Hemphill can relate, and that's what he's trying to change.

"A lot of people fall into that fallacy; think maybe there aren’t many Blacks in (STEM-related fields) because they aren’t interested," said Hemphill. "The truth is that it's really just a lack of exposure.”

Yes, T'mari loves time on the basketball court or chatting it up on social media like his peers, but he dreams of becoming a test pilot with the Air Force or working as a commercial pilot jetting across the globe — and maybe more. 

“I was 14 when I thought about it. I wanted to be a pilot, with my second choice being an engineer or mechanic. I told my mom," he said.

"She’s always supportive of anything I do, fully. I’m just always thinking about how to set myself up for the future."

T'mari's journey into the skies above could see him enter a profession where less than 2% of the nation’s Air Force fighter pilots and just under 4% of American commercial pilots are Black. But a Black astronaut is also preparing to helm next year's Artemis mission around the moon, and other people of color are marking their presence felt in these fields across the nation.

Who works in STEM?

The National Science Foundation, a federal agency that supports research, grants and education efforts in science and engineering, pointed out in a 2023 study that there are still a low number of Black individuals, Hispanics and women in the 34 million STEM-related workforce. But the numbers are growing .

The numbers show that the percentage of Black people — who make up 13% of the U.S. population — working in STEM-related fields has slowly climbed from 7% to 9% during the decade leading up to 2021. Hispanics grew in representation from 11% to 15% during the same time frame.

In 2011, women made up 32% of the STEM workforce, a number that increased to 35% by 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

That representation was highlighted earlier this year anecdotally when young, Black NASA employees — including engineers and scientists — went viral on social media, drawing millions of likes and views after posting their official NASA headshots displaying their locs and braids. 

The gains are also seen in organizations like the National Society of Black Engineers , which began with a small group of members in 1975 but now has more than 24,000 workers on its rolls.

There's also a growing crop of niche groups like Black In Astro , a collective of Black astrophysicists who put together last year's Black Space Week during the week of Juneteenth. In addition to research discussions on discoveries across the universe and tributes to sci-fi author and Afro-futurist Octavia Butler, there was a panel discussion on LGBTQ issues. Even in entertainment, the aftermath of the movie "Black Panther" has spurred a generation of youth toward science and technology.

All of it, said Dr. Ronald Gamble Jr., deals with Blacks, people of color and women finding spaces — through guidance, education, connections and the ability to stay the course — in a world once dominated by white men and a white-collar culture. 

“Today, there is more visibility and it’s easier to make the connections. When I started, we didn’t have the type of social media we have today. We didn’t have TikTok,” said Gamble, a 35-year-old Afro-Latino theoretical astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Texas.

Gamble has mentored dozens of minorities in STEM-related fields, and Generation Z is sharing their stories, he said. He also created the Cosmic Pathfinders program, designed to promote dialogue about the challenges of STEM for traditionally underrepresented groups while also creating exposure careers and opportunities to those with a new generation.

"They are no longer hidden anymore and that means more opportunities to find those fellowships or programs to find others who look like them," Gamble said.

And four years after George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers prompted deep soul-searching in corporate America over equity and inclusion, agencies like NASA, universities and tech companies — despite backlash from industry leaders including Elon Musk, and politicians like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — continue nurturing the fragile emergence of more Black people, other people of color and women into STEM fields.

Private efforts to encourage the STEM revolution in communities of color are also growing.

Take Hemphill's Melbourne-based 99th Squadron.

"This isn't just a joyride," said Hemphill, who has held four youth aviation academies aimed at teaching minority students avionics and STEM science in a county where STEM is the lifeblood of the local economy.

"This is for the future."

Finding a space, in space

Jordan Forman, one of those Gen Z students mentored by Gamble, recalls staring into the skies in Delaware as a child, then asking her grandmother about those "little dots" glittering against the velvet black night. 

Today, the 24-year-old Florida Institute of Technology graduate is an astrophysicist and researcher at Goddard, studying deep space, black holes and gamma rays. Forman now seeks answers to questions that fueled the minds and imaginations of scientists like Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. 

“My grandmother showed me a picture of Mae Jemison, the first Black woman astronaut, floating in the middle of the space station," Forman said, adding that her grandmother would often take her to places like Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum . "I just pictured myself going up into space on this rocket, just experiencing zero gravity."

Closer to the ground, Forman found her dreams diverted to theater in high school. She still thought about becoming an astronaut but outside of high-profile astronauts like Jemison, there were few role models in science who looked like her. 

Then came a college recruitment fair where she met a Florida Tech recruiter and decided to take the chance on studying space. It was an opportunity she could not resist.

“I applied,” she said of moving to Brevard, a county with a bustling spaceport, NASA and ever-expanding ties to high-tech companies like Boeing and L3Harris. 

“The biggest thing for me was finding a safe space, finding people that supported me and my career. Honestly, I’ve grown up in a lot of white spaces. So I didn’t think it was something out of the ordinary for me. I was always good at science but math was a struggle."

While at Florida Tech, Forman’s passion for STEM grew even more, moving her to help organize several Blacks in STEM conferences in Melbourne, and drawing on people like Dr. Winston Scott, one of 18 Black astronauts out of the 360 people who have been sent into space. Scott is a Florida Tech emeritus faculty member.

The events were the first of their kind for Florida Tech and one year, Forman took the message of STEM to the predominantly Black south Melbourne neighborhood just east of the university. Hemphill was also there.

Forman took on three internships at NASA before being offered a position to research alongside some of the leading astrophysicists in the nation. Last year, Forman found herself invited by the National Space Council to attend the first-ever Black Space Week in-person event at the White House, mingling with others like her with a love of the space program, science and tech.

In 10 years, she said, she hopes to still be in astronomy, but with a doctorate.

"Right now I focus on high energy astrophysics, supermassive black holes that pull in matter, dust and gas. Honestly, there aren’t a lot of action movies I can watch in peace now,” she said, laughing. 

"Every brain matters:" Encouraging STEM

Engaging those youth who were like her once upon a time is a must, Forman said.

To the south of the Space Coast at the Gifford Youth Achievement Center in Indian River County, students are learning to embrace the elementary dynamics of flight through the hands-on building and flying of drones.

The center held its first annual drone competition April 20. In 2022, some of the same students sat in rapt attention at GYAC as astronauts aboard the International Space Station — including Jessica Watkins , the first Black woman astronaut to work on the space station — livestreamed answers about space travel.

Richard Butler is head of the Next Generation Academy and a STEM course teacher at the Gifford Center. All of the interactions, from asking astronauts questions to handling drones help bring the reality of world steeped in science and technology closer to home.

"Things like this are important, especially for those in the underrepresented communities," said Butler, a motivational speaker who has established similar programs in Texas and North Carolina.

"Every brain matters."

For Los Angeles resident Maynard Okereke, founder of Hip Hop Science and a STEM educator, minority youth — many of whom carry high-tech tools like cellphones and use apps offering state-of-the-art innovations — must dispel the idea that science is out of the norm and out of reach. He uses hip-hop culture — from rap to allegories — to show teens the relevancy of science and to kindle creativity to bring the fictional "Black Panther" world of Wakanda into real life.

“One of the things we have to do is connect them to the jobs and opportunities out there now," said Okereke, who travels the nation to talk with youth.

"The thing about STEM fields is that they are so far reaching, you can look at space, rocket technology, rocket science, astrobiology, even designing living spaces. I think we go through school and we have some students who feel it's too complex, or 'I’m not smart enough' and everything in our education system fuels that. My ultimate goal in what I do is to have scientists and engineers celebrated the same way that LeBron James is celebrated." 

All of it, Forman and others say, is worth the effort to reach the youth and excite them about the possibility that they could be designing a rocket to reach Mars or draft plans for a future city on a nearby planet.

“I felt the impact was worth all the difficulty, just for the couple of times we put it on," Forman said of the Florida Tech conferences. "After the events, I even had little Black girls who would walk up to me and say, ‘I want to be a physicist.’ It was all about giving people that possibility.”

The future, with inspiration now

Victor J. Glover Jr., who served as a naval aviator flying more than 40 aircraft and carrying out 24 combat missions, was chosen as an astronaut in 2013 and is seen as an inspiration for many young Black people choosing careers in STEM. 

Next year Glover, who has stressed the importance of science and engineering for youth and people of color , will pilot the four-person Artemis II mission some 230,000 miles into space to loop around the moon. NASA’s vision of eventually returning humans to the lunar surface also includes plans for the first woman and person of color to be among the crew. 

NASA has advanced the importance of STEM to what it dubbed "The Artemis Generation" with a missionary zeal, connecting with youth like those at Gifford Youth Achievement Center.

“It’s more than an emotion, it drives priorities and decisions. It’s an important factor in this mission,” Glover said last August at Kennedy Space Center while fielding a question from FLORIDA TODAY about the importance of STEM education. 

Glover’s 2025 flight aboard Artemis, as part of a new generation of astronauts, will come 60 years after the Kennedy administration attempted to break the color barrier of the space program with the selection of Air Force test pilot Edward Dwight Jr. as a potential astronaut. It failed miserably. 

Those plans for Dwight, whose face graced Black magazine covers like Ebony, to integrate the all-white male astronaut corps fell apart after President Kennedy — who visited Cape Canaveral a week before his death — was fatally wounded by an assassin’s bullets in Dallas. Others questioned Dwight's skills and interest dwindled in placing him on the path to space. It took 24 years from the announcement naming the nation's first crop of astronauts before the first Black astronaut rode into space.

Today NASA Chief Bill Nelson — a Melbourne resident and former astronaut himself — is a strong advocate for diversifying the space agency’s workforce.

Earlier this year, NASA updated its Equity Action Plan to build a future pipeline for a more diverse STEM-grounded workforce. NASA points out that nearly 28% of the STEM-related roles at the agency — including scientists, aerospace technology and engineers — is made up of women and minorities.

A need for diversity and collaboration

But not everyone shares the same vision about diversity and inclusion. Some critics see the current push for diversity, equity and inclusion policies as a disregard for qualifications. However, NASA and others dismiss that argument by pointing out that the future will be guided by collaboration and innovation from all corners.

“We understand that leveraging diverse talents, skills, perspectives, and backgrounds allow us to accomplish deeper discovery, greater innovation in space technology, better research, and achieve mission success — when we make space for every willing and capable mind to participate and contribute to the work we do, we will go farther than ever before,” said Gerelle Dodson, a NASA spokesperson.

Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of SpaceX who himself crafted video games as a child growing up in South Africa, has been public in his criticism.  

“DEI is just another word for racism. Shame on anyone who uses it,” Musk posted on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, back in January. 

His sentiments are backed by Florida Gov. DeSantis, whose state is a magnet for high-tech companies. DeSantis has worked vigorously to dismantle diversity programs throughout the state’s public university system, attacking them using heated political rhetoric.

"The left tells us DEI stands for ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.’ But as practiced, it more closely represents ‘Discrimination, Exclusion, and Indoctrination.’ That has no place in our universities," DeSantis posted on Musk's X.

Gamble, who was recruited by NASA, didn’t speak directly about Musk, but said a future workforce must be inclusive. That means not only shoring up STEM-related coursework and opportunities for women and minorities but building on collaboration, he said.

“We’re doing workforce development, we’re bringing equity and not just talking about putting Black faces in white spaces. We want to be able to contribute,” said Gamble, who grew up watching shows like "Star Trek" with his mother and asking questions about the heat and light from the sun.

“We have to have collaboration. On the flip side, we must also make sure our students stay the course; take on the challenges of remaining in the workforce. We want to be able to contribute to the future." 

It is not the first time that the space agency has worked to diversify its workforce and astronaut candidates. Unlike the failed effort to fully train Edward Dwight Jr. for a position on the Apollo astronaut team, this time the recruitment effort involved Nichelle Nichols, who played a STEM-related role on "Star Trek," one of the most popular science fiction series in history.

In the 1960s, Nichols played Lt. Nyota Uhura , the chief communications officer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise at a time when interest in space was at an all-time high with the Apollo program. And though it was a fictional role, the character’s skill, critical thinking and engagement impressed no less than civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., a science fiction fan who encouraged Nichols to stay with the role because of its impact on youth, despite her desire to quit the show.

A decade later, Nichols challenged NASA to recruit more women and minorities into its white, male astronaut corp for future missions. The agency listened and had Nichols help recruit the next generation of astronauts as it moved its mission into the '80s, she recalled in a 2012 session at Goddard Space Flight Center. The astronauts that came through following her recruitment efforts included the first Black astronaut, Guy Bluford, and Sally Ride, the first American woman to head to the stars.

"After Apollo 11, Nichelle made it her mission to inspire women and people of color to join this agency , change the face of STEM and explore the cosmos. Nichelle’s mission is NASA’s mission," Nelson said in a tribute to Nichols after her 2022 death.

And Dwight? The retired pilot who remained a quiet, hidden figure sidelined from the space program is now 90 and a celebrated sculptor . In a twist of fate, on May 19 Dwight became the oldest person ever to venture to space, aboard a Blue Origin launch that jolted him and five other "space tourists" from west Texas to the edge of space, if only for a few minutes.

'Be true to yourself'

Aerospace engineer Brandon Burroughs said he recognizes that the decision to go into STEM as a young person can be challenging.

But he recommends students connect with groups, mentors and most importantly, stay true to themselves in the wake of external pressures from the course load and industry culture.

“If you do you and you do your work, you’ll be fine,” said the 30-year-old Birmingham, Alabama, native who lives with his wife in Titusville.

Burroughs works with the Boeing Program Management team supporting NASA’s Space Launch System Program and has been named engineer of the year by the BEYA STEM, the Black Engineer of the Year conference.

He enjoys chatting about his love of space with other engineers over an old fashioned and cigar at The Leaf Lounge spot in downtown Titusville.

In the fourth grade, he said, he was interested in space travel, watching "Star Trek: Deep Space 9" and thinking about science fiction. He knew that he wanted to go to Tuskegee University, because of the connection to the heroic Tuskegee Airmen, the Black pilots who escorted bombers during World War II, and its aerospace engineering program.

“I looked at my options and thought about being an astrobiologist or an astronomer. But what fit me the most was aerospace engineering,” said Burroughs.

Once he got into Boeing, he braced for the culture shock of being one of a handful of Black people in the building.

It never really came.

“I started wearing earrings to work about a year after I got here. I was worrying a little about it but I don’t think anyone paid attention to it. They were paying attention to my ability instead," Burroughs said.

"Then I began locking my hair three years ago. I wasn’t loud about it; I just did it and kept it moving. So be yourself but do the work."

A new frontier

Regardless of what the next few years bring, T'mari Bowe says, he is ready for the future, a new frontier of opportunities that previous generations of Black young people could barely imagine. Two years away from graduating, his hopes are on piloting real aircraft and pressing forward.

Back in front of the stimulator, and with intense concentration on the Earth below, his eyes hold steady on the flight simulator's screen animation a few feet away.

Now he prepares to bring his aircraft home for a landing.

He leans forward, carefully guiding the controls for a few more minutes, listening to the hum of the machinery, methodically checking his instrumentation. He levels off as he approaches the animated airfield below on the monitors.

"This is harder to land than the real thing," Hemphill says, watching the screen and walking T'mari through the final steps.

T'mari smiles.

"If you can land on this, you can land on anything," Hemphill says, his words carrying a not-so-hidden double meaning for T'mari's success.


J.D. Gallop  is a criminal justice/breaking news reporter at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Gallop at 321-917-4641 or  [email protected] . X, formerly known as Twitter:  @JDGallop.

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essay on space mission of india

Sunita Williams to launch into space on third mission: All you need to know

The cft mission marks a significant milestone for boeing's starliner spacecraft, which will carry nasa astronauts butch wilmore and suni williams to the iss for a planned stay of up to two weeks..

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Sunita Williams

  • This is the maiden human test flight of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft
  • The crew, who had previously quarantined, returned to Kennedy Space Center on May 28
  • The Starliner spacecraft is built by Boeing in collaboration with Nasa,

Nasa and Boeing teams have given the go-ahead for the agency's Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT) to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) after multiple delays.

The decision follows a thorough Delta-Agency Flight Test Readiness Review held at Nasa's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday. The review confirmed that all systems, facilities, and teams supporting the test flight are ready for liftoff.


The Starliner spacecraft, built by Boeing in collaboration with Nasa, is designed to transport astronauts to and from the ISS. The CFT mission will test the spacecraft's capabilities, including its ability to safely carry crew members to the space station and return them to Earth.


Nasa has said that if there are any hiccups in the launch, a backup launch opportunity is available on Sunday, June 2, with additional launch windows on Wednesday, June 5, and Thursday, June 6. The launch will take place from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.




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    Wilmore and Williams have been in preflight quarantine. The success of this mission will pave the way for regular crew rotation flights to the ISS. Nasa astronauts Butch Wilmore and Sunita Williams are set to make history as the first crew to launch aboard Boeing's Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday.

  29. The Next Frontier: Black professionals look to the future with STEM

    The numbers show that the percentage of Black people — who make up 13% of the U.S. population — working in STEM-related fields has slowly climbed from 7% to 9% during the decade leading up to ...

  30. Sunita Williams to launch into space on third mission ...

    Sunita Williams is part of the Crew Flight Test (CFT) mission being conducted by Nasa and Boeing jointly. During the mission, the two astronauts will be responsible for piloting the newly developed Starliner spacecraft into space and return. The mission follows a series of delays, including a scrubbed launch attempt. (Photo: ULA)