New Delhi: India's first unmanned flight to the moon blasted off from Sriharikota, off the Andhra Pradesh coast, early morning on Wednesday. A 44-metre-tall and 316-tonne rocket called the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C11) carried the 1,380-kg lunar orbiter Chandrayaan 1 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at exactly 0622 hrs IST.
Chandrayaan will orbit the moon for two years. A principal objective of Chandrayaan is to look for Helium 3, an isotope which is very rare on earth but is sought to power nuclear fusion and could be a valuable source of energy in the future, some scientists believe.
It is thought to be more plentiful on the moon, but still rare and very difficult to extract.
Here are some of the great achievements India has had in space till now.
INDIA IN SPACE
|1963: First sounding rocket launched from TERLS.|
|1975: First Indian Satellite, Aryabhata, launched.|
|1979: Bhaskara-1, an experimental satellite launched.|
|1981: APPLE, an experimental geostationary communication satellite successfully launched.|
|1981: Bhaskara-II launched.|
|1982: INSAT-1A launched.|
|1983: Second launch of SLV-3, RS-D2 placed in orbit, INSAT-1B launched.|
|1984: Indo-Soviet manned space mission.|
|1984: Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian to reach space.|
|1988: First Indian remote sensing satellite, IRS-1A launched.|
|1988: INSAT-1C launched.|
|1990: INSAT-1D launched successfully.|
|1991: Launch of second operational Remote Sensing satellite, IRS-1B.|
|1992: First indigenously built satellite INSAT-2A launched successfully.|
|1993: INSAT-2B launched.|
|1995: INSAT-2C launched.|
|1995: INSAT-2D launched.|
|2000: INSAT-3B was launched.|
|2000: INSAT-3c was launched.|
|2007: INSAT-4B successfully launched by Arianespace.|
|2007: PSLV-C8 successfully places an Italian satellite, AGILE into its orbit.|
|2007: INSAT-4CR was successfully placed in orbit.|
|2008: PSLV places Israeli satellite Tecsar on its orbit.|
|2008: PSLV-C9 successfully places 10 satellite in a single launch.|
|2008: India makes it to the moon with the unmanned Chandraayan 1.|
INDIA'S GREAT SCIENTISTS
These are some scientists who have helped India on the path to greatness.
|Vikram Sarabhai: Father of the Indian space programme|
|Homi Bhabha: First chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission|
|CV Raman: Awarded with Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on scattering of light|
|Jagdish Chandra Bose: He laid the foundations of experimental science in India|
|Satyendra Nath Bose: Famous for "Bose-Einstein Theory"|
|Meghnad Saha: Made outstanding contribution to the field of Astrophysics|
|Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar: Awarded Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983|