Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Space Sciences

Starting with ground based and balloon borne experiments in the 1940s, the Indian space science research activities were actually initiated with the launching of sounding rockets from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in 1963 to measure the equatorial electrojet parameters. Since then large number of rocket and balloon borne experiments have provided new data on upper atmospheric phenomena, cosmic rays and energetic x-ray and gamma rays. With the advent of satellite era, scientific experimental payloads have been launched starting from the first Indian satellite Aryabhata.

In the recent past a number of Indian space science projects / programmes have been completed or on going. Major ones are as follows:
Astronomy: GRB-SROSS-C2, IXAE-IRS-P3, SOXS-GSAT2, (completed projects), ASTROSAT, Indian RT-2 experiment on Coronas-Photon Russian Mission
Solar-Terrestrial Physics: IMAP, RPA-SROSS-C2, Middle Atmospheric Dynamics (MIDAS), (completed projects), Coherent Radio Beacon Experiment (CRABEX), CAWSES-India
Planetary Science/ Exploration: National level Planetary Science/Exploration Programme, PLANEX, Chandrayaan-1
Environment & Climate: Megha-Tropiques,
Micro-Gravity Science experiments for SRE-1 and SRE-2

The recent initiatives and ongoing projects: Chandrayaan-1, ASTROSAT, Megha-Tropiques, RT-2, CRABEX, PLANEX, SRE science experiments etc., would provide exciting opportunities to attract young research scientists and students to space science arena. Special effort is being made to organise training workshops, create special awareness and fellowships etc., to enable participation by students and scientists from universities and academic institutions. With the initiation of these major space science missions and their realisation, considerable interest and expertise have been generated and scientists have come up with proposals for new missions.

ISRO actively supports space science research in universities and research institutions on the recommendations of the Advisory Committee for Space Science (ADCOS) and participates in national and international scientific campaign.