New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its first satellite named Aryabhata into space on April 19, 1975. The satellite was launched by Russia from Kapustin Yar, a rocket launch and development site using a Kosmos-3M launch vehicle.
Here are some interesting facts about the first unmanned Indian satellite which you probably didn't know:
- Aryabhata satellite was built by ISRO to conduct experiments in X-ray astronomy, aeronomics, and solar physics.
- The 360-kilogram satellite was named Aryabhata by India's first woman Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi after the prominent Indian astronomer and mathematician bearing the same name.
- The spacecraft was a 26-sided polygon with a diameter of 1.4 metre.
- The launch came from an agreement between India and the Soviet Union directed by UR Rao and signed in 1972.
- Before the launch, a power failure in the satellite's electrical power system halted experiments for four days.
- The historic event was celebrated by the Reserve Bank of India satellite's and the image of the satellite appeared on the reverse of Indian 2 rupee banknotes between 1976 and 1997 and one rupee note number.
- The cost of the project was estimated at 3 crores, however it cost a little more than that.
- The satellite had its data receiving centre in Bangalore, where a toilet was converted to serve the purpose.
- The satellite re-entered atmosphere of Earth after 17 years on 11 February 1992.