- Nandini Jha   17-06-2017


February 2016 - January 2017 witnessed numerous achievements of the Indian Space Programme. Six launch vehicle missions were successfully accomplished that included five PSLVs and one GSLV(Mk II) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota while the six ISRO satellites, four student satellites and 22 foreign satellites were launched by these missions. The six ISRO satellites included four earth observation satellites and two navigation satellites. India’s communication satellite GSAT-18was also successfully launched from French Guiana. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) had the unique distinction of launching 20 satellites in a single mission while also demonstrating its capability to place satellites in two different orbits in a single mission. ISRO also demonstrated new technologies in the launch vehicle programme. The Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) and SCRAMJET Engine Technology Demonstrator had their successful maiden test flights. This apart, the launch of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle – Mark II (GSLV- Mk II) became the third consecutively successful launch of GSLV carrying the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS). Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft of India completed two years in its orbit around Mars while Astro Sat, India's multi-wavelength observatory, successfully completed one year in orbit. The Indian space program during the year made good progress in its quest towards mastering critical technologies and witnessed notable milestones in space exploration. Necessary infrastructure for casting technologies and witnessed notable milestones in space exploration. Necessary infrastructure for casting missions in the area of remote sensing, communications and navigational satellites as well as space science have been established. The expansion of space applications programs including disaster management support and outreach through Direct-To-Home television, reiterates the increasing role played by the Indian space systems in providing direct benefits to the society. Thus, the Indian Space Programme continues to pursue goals on several fronts in meeting its objective.