ISRO: The Indian Space Research Organisation

ISRO Budget

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) ( भारतीय अंतरिक्ष अनुसंधान संगठन, इसरो) is the space agency of the Government of India and has its headquarters in the city of Bengaluru.

Its vision is to "harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research & planetary exploration".

The Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was established by Jawaharlal Nehru under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in 1962, with the urging of scientist Vikram Sarabhai recognizing the need in space research.

INCOSPAR grew and became ISRO in 1969, also under the DAE. In 1972, the Government of India had set up a Space Commission and the Department of Space (DOS), bringing ISRO under the DOS. The establishment of ISRO thus institutionalized space research activities in India.

It is managed by the DOS, which reports to the Prime Minister of India.


Key Description of ISRO:

Abbreviation: ISRO

Founder: Dr. Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai

Director: Kailasavadivoo Sivan

Formation: 15 August 1969

Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Subsidiary: Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre

Administrator: K. Sivan (Chairman)

Primary spaceport: Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC/SHAR), Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)

Parent organisation: Department of Space

Budget: Increase ₹13,479.47 crore (US$1.9 billion)

Staff: 17,222 as of 2020

Social Network: Facebook, Twitter

Website: Link


Goals and Objectives of ISRO:

The prime objective of ISRO is to use space technology and its application to various national tasks. The Indian space program was driven by the vision of Vikram Sarabhai, considered the father of the Indian space programme. As he said in 1969.


Organisation Structure And Facilities:

ISRO is managed by the Department of Space (DoS) of the Government of India. DoS itself falls under the authority of the Space Commission and manages the following agencies and institutes:

  • Indian Space Research Organisation
  • Antrix Corporation – The marketing arm of ISRO, Bengaluru.
  • Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad.
  • National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), Gadanki, Andhra pradesh.
  • New Space India Limited - Commercial wing, Bengaluru.
  • North-Eastern Space Applications Centre[42] (NE-SAC), Umiam.
  • Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL), Mohali.
  • Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram – India's space university.


Research Facilities:

Facility Location Description
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Thiruvananthapuram The largest ISRO base is also the main technical centre and the venue of development of the SLV-3, ASLV, and PSLV series.[43] The base supports India's Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station and the Rohini Sounding Rocket programme.[43] This facility is also developing the GSLV series.[43]
Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre Thiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru The LPSC handles design, development, testing and implementation of liquid propulsion control packages, liquid stages and liquid engines for launch vehicles and satellites.[43] The testing of these systems is largely conducted at IPRC at Mahendragiri.[43] The LPSC, Bangalore also produces precision transducers.[44]
Physical Research Laboratory Ahmedabad Solar planetary physics, infrared astronomy, geo-cosmo physics, plasma physics, astrophysics, archaeology, and hydrology are some of the branches of study at this institute.[43] An observatory at Udaipur also falls under the control of this institution.[43]
Semi-Conductor Laboratory Chandigarh Research & Development in the field of semiconductor technology, micro-electro mechanical systems and process technologies relating to semiconductor processing.
National Atmospheric Research Laboratory Tirupati The NARL carries out fundamental and applied research in atmospheric and space sciences.
Space Applications Centre Ahmedabad The SAC deals with the various aspects of the practical use of space technology.[43] Among the fields of research at the SAC are geodesy, satellite based telecommunications, surveying, remote sensing, meteorology, environment monitoring etc.[43] The SAC also operates the Delhi Earth Station, which is located in Delhi and is used for demonstration of various SATCOM experiments in addition to normal SATCOM operations.[45]
North-Eastern Space Applications Centre Shillong Providing developmental support to North East by undertaking specific application projects using remote sensing, GIS, satellite communication and conducting space science research.


Other Facilities:

  • Aerospace Command of India (ACI)
  • Balasore Rocket Launching Station (BRLS) – Odisha
  • Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC), Bengaluru.
  • Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR)
  • Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS)
  • Indian Space Science Data Centre (ISSDC)
  • Integrated Space Cell
  • Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA)
  • ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU) – Thiruvananthapuram
  • National Deep Space Observation Centre (NDSPO)
  • Regional Remote Sensing Service Centres (RRSSC)
  • Master Control Facility


Human Spaceflight Programme of ISRO:

In 2009, the Indian Space Research Organisation proposed a budget of ₹12,400 crore (US$1.7 billion) for its human spaceflight programme.

According to the Space Commission, which recommended the budget, an unscrewed flight will be launched after seven years from the final approval and a crewed mission will be launched after seven years of funding. If realized in the stated time-frame, India will become the fourth nation, after the USSR, USA and China, to successfully carry out crewed missions indigenously.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi announced in his Independence Day address of 15 August 2018 that India will send astronauts into space by 2022 on the new Gaganyaan spacecraft.

After the announcement, ISRO chairman, Sivan, said ISRO has developed most of the technologies needed such as crew module and crew escape system, and that the project would cost less than Rs. 100 billion and would include sending at least 3 Indians to space, 300–400 km above in a spacecraft for at least seven days using a GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle. The chance of a female being a member of the first crew is "very high" according to the scientific secretary to the Indian chairman, R. Umamaheswaran.


ISRO satellites that were launched by foreign agencies, are listed in the table below.


No. Satellite's name Launch agency Country / region of launch agency Launch date Mission life
1. Aryabhata USSR 19 April 1975
2. Bhaskara-1 USSR 7 June 1979 1 year
3. Apple Arianespace Europe 19 June 1981 2 years
4. Bhaskara-2 USSR 20 November 1981 1 year
5. INSAT-1A McDonnell-Douglas USA 10 April 1982 7 years
6. INSAT-1B USA 30 August 1983 7 years
7. IRS-1A USSR 17 March 1988 7 years
8. INSAT-1C Arianespace Europe 22 July 1988 7 years
9. INSAT-1D McDonnell-Douglas USA 12 June 1990 12 years
10. IRS-1B USSR 29 August 1991 12 years
11. INSAT-2A Arianespace Europe 10 July 1992 7 years
12. INSAT-2B Arianespace Europe 22 July 1993 7 years
13. INSAT-2C Arianespace Europe 6 December 1995 7 years
14. IRS-1C Russia 28 December 1995 7 years
15. INSAT-2D Arianespace Europe 3 June 1997 7 years
16. INSAT-2E Arianespace Europe 2 April 1999 12 years
17. INSAT-3B Arianespace Europe 21 March 2000 10 years
18. INSAT-3C Arianespace Europe 23 January 2002 12 years
19. INSAT-3A Arianespace Europe 9 April 2003 12 years
20. INSAT-3E Arianespace Europe 27 September 2003 12 years
21. INSAT-4A Arianespace Europe 22 December 2005 12 years
22. INSAT-4B Arianespace Europe 12 March 2007 12 years
23. GSAT-8 Arianespace Europe 21 May 2011 More than 12 years
24. INSAT-3D Arianespace Europe 26 July 2013 7 years
24. GSAT-7 Arianespace Europe 30 August 2013 7 years
26. GSAT-10 Arianespace Europe 29 September 2010 15 years
27. GSAT-16 Arianespace Europe 7 December 2014 12 years
28. GSAT-15 Arianespace Europe 11 November 2015 12 years
29. GSAT-18 Arianespace Europe 6 October 2016 15 years
30. GSAT-17 Arianespace Europe 28 June 2017 15 years
31. GSAT-11 Arianespace Europe 5 December 2018 15 years
32. GSAT-31 Arianespace Europe 5 February 2019 15 years


Statistics of ISRO (2020)

Total number of foreign satellites launched by ISRO : 319 (33 countries)

Spacecraft missions: 117

Launch missions: 77

Student satellites: 10 [231]

Re-entry missions: 2