Not only was 15 August, 2017, the 70th year of Indian independence from the British rule, but it has also marked the 48th anniversary of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It was established in 1969 by Dr Vikram Sarabhai with the objective of developing a civilian program that employed space technology for the development of the country.
TeamIndus, a private Indian aerospace company attempting to win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, has celebrated India's achievements in space in a unique way. TeamIndus has come up with three posters that celeberate over five decades of the Indian space program. The posters commemorate Aryabhata, the first satellite launched by India in 1975, Chandrayaan, the mission to the Moon, and Mangalyaan, a mission to Mars and the first interplanetary mission for India.
High resolution downloads of the posters are available on the TeamIndus Medium blog. Users can download the posters for free, and get them printed on A3 sized paper. TeamIndus has released the posters to mark the anniversary of ISRO, as well as celebrate the success story of their partners.
TeamIndus will be sending its rover to the Moon on an ISRO PSLV flight, scheduled for 28 December, 2017. The Rover will have to navigate for 500 meters on the surface of the Moon to bag the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE. The spacecraft and rover from Team Hakuto in Japan, another team attempting to win the Lunar XPRIZE will be ridesharing with TeamIndus on the same launch. If everything goes as planned, the first private Indian company to reach the Moon is expected to do so just before Republic Day, 2018
ISRO is in the process of planning a follow up mission to the Moon, and interplanetary missions to Venus and Mars. The Chandrayaan-2 mission will attempt a soft landing on the surface of the moon, and a rover is being tested by ISRO. The space agency plans to deploy a robot on the surface of Mars in the Mangalyaan-2 mission. The details of a mission to Venus are also being worked out.
The Indian space programme and ISRO have achieved a lot in this year. On 5 June, a 4-ton GSLVM Mk-III satellite was put up in the Geosynchronous Transfer orbit by means of cryogenic engine which means that India will no longer have to rely on foreign launches for launching heavy satellites.
Called “fat boy” or “monster rocket”, the 640-tonne Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III blasted off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 5.28 pm on June 5.
Also, ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) on 23 June deployed 31 satellites in orbit after a 23 minute flight. This was the fortieth launch of the PSLV, one of the most reliable launch vehicles in the world, which has earned it the moniker of ISRO's workhorse rocket.
ISRO also made history this year by breaking the record for maximum number satellites launched on a single attempt by putting up 104 satellites in orbit around the Earth.