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Space Science & Technology

अपडेट करने की तारीख: 2 अग॰ 2023

Space Technology:

Space technology is a field that involves applying engineering principles to create and operate devices and systems for space exploration and travel. This study area is crucial for spaceflight, Earth observation, and activities such as astronautics involving extraterrestrial exploration. The applications of space technology are vast, including exploring other planets, studying the universe, and providing various benefits, communication and navigation services for human activities.

India in Space Technology:

India's history of space technology dates back to the 1960s when the Indian Committee for Space Research was established. Since then, India has made significant strides in the field of space technology, particularly in agriculture, telecommunications, weather forecasting, and disaster management. With exceptional rocket technology advancements in propellant theory, rocket design, and more, Indian scientists have established themselves as leaders in the field.

Before independence, Indian scientists like S.K. Mittra, Chandrashekhar Venkata Raman, and Meghnath Saha conducted experiments on the ionosphere and contributed to the development of space technology. After independence, eminent scientists like Dr Vikram Sarasbhai and Dr Homi Jehangir Bhabha spearheaded organized space research in India.

Since then, India has established itself as a significant player in rocketry, with the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station becoming operational in 1963. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was also established at Sriharikota to give further impetus to space research programs in India. Vikram Sarabhai and Satish Dhawan played a major role in pioneering exploration activities by launching a number of satellites aimed at providing communication, meteorology, remote sensing, and direct-to-home television broadcasting.

India has achieved remarkable success with the launch of Aryabhata, India's first master satellite aimed at growing advanced technology in agricultural fields and weather forecasting, and Bhaskara I. India has also made further progress by launching its programs on INSAT, which helped grow nationwide direct-to-home telecommunications. Moreover, India has received a lot of appreciation from developed countries like the UK, USA, and USSR, who not only supported India but also helped introduce new knowledge.

Overall, space technology in India has been one of the biggest scientific successes, enabling India to compete with the rest of the world in providing the latest scientific experiments. With India's exceptional scientific capabilities, it is no surprise that the nation is poised to achieve even more significant milestones in space technology.


Top 10 countries in Space science & technology

1. The United States of

America proudly commands approximately one-third of the operational spacecraft currently orbiting Earth. The country boasts a space program built upon remarkable achievements such as the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, Space Shuttle, International Space Station (ISS), Mars Exploration Rover - Opportunity, and Mars Rover Curiosity. Since launching its first satellite Explorer 1 on the evening of January 31, 1958, the United States has maintained a large fleet of satellites for communication, electronic intelligence, missile detection, weather, technology, navigation, and surveillance purposes. Spearheaded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the United States is at the forefront of space exploration.

2. China

China currently possesses and operates the second-largest fleet of spacecraft in orbit. This includes multiple constellations of navigation, remote sensing, communication, surveillance, and other spacecraft. Additionally, China is one of only three countries with the ability to recover satellites and conduct manned space flights.

Some of China's significant space missions include the Tiangong-1 space station, Shenzhou manned space flight program, and the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP). The Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) is responsible for planning and developing national space programs. Meanwhile, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), a state-owned company, is the prime contractor in charge of designing and developing launch vehicles and satellites, as well as providing commercial launch services.

3. Russian Federation

The Russian space program began in 1957 with the launch of the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, by the Soviet Union. Currently, Russia operates the third-largest fleet of spacecraft, which includes communication, meteorological, and reconnaissance satellites. They have also completed projects such as the Soyuz manned spacecraft, Salyut 1 space station, and Lunokhod 1 space rover. Civilian space activities are overseen by the Russian Federal Space Agency (RosKosmos), while the Russian Space Forces (VKS) handle defence satellite launches and military flight control assets.

4. Japan

In February of 1970, Japan successfully launched its first satellite, Osumi, making it the fourth nation in the world to have the capability of launching its own satellites. Today, Japan has a fleet of satellites that are used for communication, meteorology, earth observation, and astronomical observation. Some notable Japanese space programs include the Japanese Experiment Module (KIBO)-ISS, H-II Transfer Vehicle KOUNOTORI5 (HTV5), and H-II launch vehicle. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) controls the national aerospace research and development activities.

5. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom launched its first satellite Ariel 1 in 1962, making it the third nation after the USSR and the US to launch an artificial satellite into orbit. It presently operates a large number of satellites including civil and military communications satellites, earth observation satellites, and scientific and exploration spacecraft.

The UK is one of the largest monetary contributors to the European Space Agency (ESA) and participates in advanced science and exploration missions such as Bepi Colombo, Euclid and ExoMars Rover carried out by the ESA. The United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA) is responsible for the implementation of the national civil space programme.

6. India

Since launching its first satellite Aryabhatta on 19th April 1975, India has sent over 80 spacecraft into orbit. The state-owned Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) oversees the country's space activities, including the operation of communication, earth observation, and navigational satellites such as INSAT, GSAT, and IRNSS series. Some of these satellites, like TES and Cartosat, have both civilian and military applications, while others, like the GSAT-7, are dedicated to serving the military. India made history with its Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), which cost $75m, a fraction of what NASA spent on the MAVEN Mars mission.

7. Canada

In 1962, Canada successfully launched its first satellite, Alouette 1, marking the country's entry into space. Since then, Canada has developed a fleet of earth observation satellites such as RADARSAT and SCISAT, communication satellites like ANIK, and science satellites like BRITE. Additionally, they have micro and hybrid spacecraft in operation. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) oversees the country's space program. However, Canada does not have its own launch system, relying on the US, India, and Russia to launch its spacecraft.

8. Germany

In 1969, Germany demonstrated its space exploration prowess to the world with the successful launch of the Azur satellite. Since then, Germany has launched various spacecraft, which include telecommunications, navigation, and earth observation satellites. The country has also been an integral part of significant missions such as the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its moons, the European space laboratory Columbus, Dawn - Mission to Vesta and Ceres, and the European Galileo navigation system. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is responsible for implementing the national space program, which supports the German space industry in achieving strategic goals in association with the European programmes linked to the ESA and the European Union.

9. France

France has a space program that encompasses both civil and military missions, with the state-owned Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) responsible for implementing the country's space policy in collaboration with industry and the scientific community. There are various types of spacecraft launched into orbit, including earth observation and reconnaissance satellites, electronic signals intelligence satellites, and civil and military communications satellites.

France is a significant contributor to the European Space Agency (ESA), which is headquartered in Paris. Toulouse Space Centre is responsible for space research and development, while CNES, ESA, and Arianespace launch missions from the Guiana Space Centre.

10. Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a prominent country in the field of space technology, with a significant number of communication and remote-sensing satellites in operation. It is a member of the European Space Agency (ESA) and actively conducts space research through its National Action Plan for Space R&D. Luxembourg is also home to the headquarters of two major telecommunications satellite operators, SES (Société Européenne des Satellites) and Intelsat. The Luxembourg Space Cluster brings together specialized companies and government research agencies dedicated to space telecommunications, global navigation satellite systems, location-based services, earth observation, maritime safety and protection, and space technologies.

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