Space Technology

The technology used for travelling or conducting activities beyond the atmosphere of the earth for space exploration or spacecraft is known as Space Technology. Satellites, spacecraft, orbital launch vehicles and space stations, in-space propulsion, deep-space communication, and many other technologies are included in this arena of technological advancement.

There has been swift progress in this sector, making way for remarkable achievements for the entire human race, like the landing on the moon. Latest technologies arising with or advanced by space-related ventures are being exploited in activities related to economic importance.

In the science and technology section in the UPSC syllabus, the Indian space program and Indian satellites are important for the IAS exam. In this article, you will read about Indian space technology.

Kickstart your UPSC 2023 preparation now and complement it with the links given below:

Milestones in Global Space Technologies

The most active topic covering a section of the current affairs under the Science and Technology branch is space technology. The space-age era began with the satellite Sputnik being launched in 1957, and this technology then witnessed progression. Hundreds of satellite data applications were developed, including devices for our daily use to remote sensing, weather forecasting, satellite TV, satellite navigation system, etc. These missions have given us strong, inspiring imagery for mankind, and photographs such as the Blue Marble have become globally perceived symbols of our mother earth.

Space Programmes in India

Space technology IAS questions are primarily fact-based questions. Some of the milestones that India’s space programmes have seen are as follows:

  • In 1962, Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was established by the Department of Atomic Energy. Work on building the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station(TERLS) began.
  • On 21st November 1963, from TERLS, the first rocket was launched.
  • In 1967, Satellite Telecommunication Earth Station was constructed in Ahmedabad.
  • ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) was formed under the Department of Atomic Energy on 15th August 1969.
  • On 1st June 1972, the Space Commission and Department of Space were formed.
  • Aryabhatta, India’s first ISRO satellite, was launched on 19th April 1975
  • An experimental satellite called Bhaskara-I was launched on 7th June 1979 for earth observations.
  • On 17th March 1988, the first operational Indian Remote Sensing Satellite, IRS-1A, was launched.
  • On 26th May 1999, Indian Remote Sensing Satellite, IRS-P4 (OCEANSAT), was launched by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C2) from Sriharikota along with German DLR-TUBSAT and Korean KITSAT-3.
  • On 12th September 2002, PSLV-C4 (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) successfully launched the satellite KALPANA-1 from Sriharikota.
  • ISRO’s PSLV-C7 (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) launched four satellites – India’s Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1) and CARTOSAT-2 and Argentina’s PEHUENSAT-1 and Indonesia’s LAPAN-TUBSAT on 10th January 2007.
  • On 22nd October2008 PSLV-C11 launched Chandrayaan-1 from Sriharikota
  • India launched the earth observation satellite EOS-01 on 7th November 2020 along with nine international satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
  • On 4th January 2021, India’s Prime Minister, Sri Narendra Modi, inaugurated the National Metrology Conclave 2021.

Given below are a few other related links for IAS exam preparation:

Science & Technology Notes For UPSC Topic-Wise GS 3 Questions for UPSC Mains
Science and Technology Questions & Answers for UPSC Science & Technology Questions in UPSC Mains GS-3
UPSC Prelims Previous Year Science & Technology Questions UPSC Mains General Studies Paper 3 Strategy, Syllabus & Structure

ISRO’S Mega Mission

Knowing the mega missions of ISRO in detail for current affairs quizzes on Space Technology is important. There are around seven mega missions of ISRO. Chandrayaan-2 (second mission around the moon in 2019), Aditya-L1 (to the Sun in 2021), XPoSat (to study cosmic radiation in 2020) are a few of them.

Some of the missions which are still being planned (undefined missions) are Mangalyaan-2 (Mars Orbiter Mission-2 in 2022), Lunar Polar Exploration (Chandrayaan-3 in 2024) and Exoworlds (which will explore outside the solar system in 2028), Shukrayaan Mission (around Venus in 2023).

Therefore, it is an important topic that should be covered in your IAS preparation. You should keep yourself updated with the latest knowledge and information to make sure you crack the exam successfully.

Aspirants can visit the linked article and get details about the upcoming government exams that comprise current affairs and general awareness as an important topic in the syllabus.

Furthermore, to get the latest competitive exam updates, preparation tips and study material, visit BYJU’S.

Frequently Asked Questions on Space Technology


What is an orbit in space technology?

According to celestial mechanics, the orbit is an object’s curved path or trajectory. For example, the path of a planet around the star or that of a natural satellite like the moon around the earth. When an artificial satellite circles an object or position in space such as a moon, asteroid, planet etc., it also follows a specific orbit.


What are the various types of artificial satellites?

Artificial satellites can be of various types. Some important types of satellites are Biosatellites, communication, navigation, earth observation, space station, killer, crewed spacecraft, solar power, tether, weather, miniaturized, etc. You should know about the various types of artificial satellites for cracking UPSC prelims.


What is Lagrange’s point?

This refers to the positions in space where the two-body system’s gravitational forces build enhanced areas of repulsion and attraction. The earth and Sun can be an example of this.


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