A composite night-time view of India and its surroundings in 2016. Photo: NASA Earth Observatory Images
That is a significant date in the history of the Indian space program. On November 21, 1963, the first sounding rocket launch – assembled inside a church building – from the Equator Rocket Launcher Station in Thumba, Kerala, marked the beginning of our space journey. This remains a milestone.
Fifty-five years later, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is working towards our second-month exploration mission, Chandrayaan-2, next year, and more importantly, our first manned space mission, Question, where three crew members will spend seven days in space in low earth orbit (LEO). This mission is expected to begin in 2022 and cost billions of rupees.
How special is this? Very special.
You just need to look back at the long history of manned flight to understand the sensations and achievements that accompany it. With the International Space Station (ISS) completing 20 years in orbit on November 20, we decided to make it the focus of our special space point. Nasa called ISS one of the most ambitious international collaborations ever tried and the most politically complex space exploration program ever undertaken. Astronauts from 18 countries (and counting) have visited the space station so far. This is a technological miracle and the result of years of collaboration between the scientific research community and international space agencies.
Actually, there was talk of sending Indian astronauts to the ISS for a short training mission in 2022. Hopefully, one day we can have the resources and technical progress needed to become one of the countries participating in the ISS and other future. space station mission.
The good news is, the signs are very encouraging. As you will read in this issue, Indians not only lead critical space missions scheduled for the near future but also mark in areas such as space design. Some of the brightest ideas for new and miniature satellite designs (CubeSats) in recent years have emerged from India. We also see some of the main historical references to India's participation in space research, since the 1960s.
Our interest in space goes beyond the field of science and extends to pop culture. Our story looks at how film and art have shaped our understanding of space and how space debris is being reorganized with the help of ingenious design solutions.
In the breadth of space, what makes us unique is our desire to know more about the universe we inhabit. So, our search for reaching the farthest corner of the cosmos cannot stop. The field of interplanetary travel, space colonization, and space shipping has so much to offer. We can only increase and increase speed. When talking about the India-United States Conference on the Application and Trade of Space Science in New Delhi in 2004, the deceased A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, one of the main thinkers behind the start of the Indian space dream, has said: "Thinking outside our planet is essential. The thought itself raised the person. That person turned into a creative country. Creativity is indeed the foundation of discovery and discovery. "
From innovating with limited resources in the 1960s to launching a record 104 satellites in a mission last year, Isro and India have traveled a long way in this space journey. With Chandrayaan-2 and Question very far in our view, the only way ahead is to advance. Like Neil Armstrong (played by Ryan Gosling) said in a recent Hollywood film First person"When you get a different perspective, it changes your perspective." Here, hopefully this special space gives you a new perspective not only to see India but also to travel the world to explore space.