Here is a look at the history of the India's space agency from its inception to the present

Many remarkable milestones are scattered across the history of ISRO since it was founded on 16 August 1969.

The launch of ISRO's Chandrayaan 2 is hours away. The mission is the first time that India and her space agency are attempting to land a spacecraft on another celestial body.  Chandrayaan 2 includes a lander, rover and an orbiter. They will be loaded into the GSLV Mk-III rocket – the most advanced rocket that the Indian Space and Research Agency (ISRO) has developed.

Chandrayaan-2 is India's second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan-1 in 2008, which confirmed the presence of water-ice in the lunar Poles. Many remarkable achievements and milestones are scattered across the history of ISRO since it was founded on 16 August 1969. Here's a look back at some of ISRO's biggest milestones over the years.

16 February 1962 — The Indian National Committee for Space Research is formed under the leadership of Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai, known as the Father of India's space program, and physicist Kalpathi Ramakrishna Ramanathan.

Here is a look at the history of the Indias space agency from its inception to the present

Dr Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai the father of the Indian space program. Image credit: ISRO

21 November 1963 — The first sounding rocket, used for probing upper atmospheric regions and space research, is launched from Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in Kerala, marking the beginning of the Indian space program.

15 August 1969 — The Indian Space Research Organization, the nation's space agency, is created to "harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration."

19 April 1975 — India's first satellite, Aryabhata, is launched from the former Soviet Union. Named after a famous Indian astronomer, it is designed and built in India and launched by a Soviet rocket.

Bhaskara-I remote-sensing satellite. Credit: ISRO

Bhaskara-I remote-sensing satellite. Credit: ISRO

7 June 1979 — Bhaskara-I, the first experimental remote-sensing satellite built in India, is launched. Images taken by its camera are used in hydrology and forestry and data sent by it are used for oceanographic studies.

18 July 1980 — Satellite Launch Vehicle-3, India's first experimental satellite launch vehicle, is launched, making India the sixth space-faring nation. The success of the project opened the way for more advanced launch vehicle projects.

10 April 1982 — The Indian National Satellite System is launched for communications and broadcasting but is abandoned a year later when its altitude control propellant is exhausted.

2 April 1984 — A joint India-Soviet Union manned mission is launched, putting the first Indian national in space. Rakesh Sharma, a former Indian air force pilot, flies on the Soyuz T-11 spacecraft to the Salyut 7 Orbital Station.

PSLV C-35 at the launch pad. Credit: ISRO

PSLV C-35 at the launch pad. Credit: ISRO

20 September 1993 — The first Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-G rocket was launched from Sriharikota.

18 April 2001 — The first Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk I rocket was launched from Satish Dhawan.

GSLV-F08 at the Umbilical Tower of the Second Launch Pad. Credit: ISRO

GSLV-F08 at the Umbilical Tower of the Second Launch Pad. Credit: ISRO

18 September 2008 — The Indian government approved this second mission in the Union Cabinet. Russia was going to build the lander and India would develop the orbiter and rover.

22 October 2008 — India's first lunar mission, Chandrayaan, or moon craft in Sanskrit, is launched. It orbits the moon but does not land there. It performs high-resolution remote sensing of the moon using visible, near-infrared, low energy X-rays and high-energy X-rays. One objective is to prepare a three-dimensional atlas of both the near and far sides of the moon.

Artist illustration of the Mars orbiter mission. Image credit: Wikiepedia/Nesnad

Artist illustration of the Mars orbiter mission. Image credit: Wikiepedia/Nesnad

5 November 2013 — The Mars Orbiter Mission is launched. Also called Mangalyaan, it has been orbiting Mars since Sept. 24, 2014. It is India's first interplanetary venture and is studying Mars' surface features, morphology, mineralogy and atmosphere.

with inputs from The Associated Press.

Find our entire collection of stories, in-depth analysis, live updates, videos & more on Chandrayaan 2 Moon Mission on our dedicated #Chandrayaan2TheMoon domain.

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