UPSC Exam Preparation: This Day in History – Jun 07

07 June 1979

Bhaskara-I was launched by ISRO


What happened?

India’s first experimental remote sensing satellite, Bhaskara-I was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 7th June 1979.

Bhaskara I Satellite

  • Bhaskara-I was the first experimental remote sensing satellite built by ISRO.
  • It was named after the 7th century Indian mathematician Bhaskara-I (not to be confused with the 12th century mathematician Bhaskara-II). Bhaskara-I is credited to be the first scholar to write numbers in the decimal number system.
  • The chief purpose of the satellite was to collect data on hydrology, oceanography, forestry and telemetry.
  • The satellite, which weighed 442 kg at launch, was launched by the Intercosmos launch vehicle, C-1 Intercosmos from Volgograd Launch Station, Russia.
  • With an inclination of 50.6°, the satellite was placed at an Apogee of 399 km and a Perigee of 394 km.
  • It had two television cameras that operated in visible and near infra-red spectrum.
  • Another payload was SAMIR which stands for Satellite microwave radiometer for the study of water vapour, ocean-state, liquid water content in atmosphere and so on. SAMIR operated at 19 and 22 GHz.
  • The onboard power was of 47 Watts. Its orbit was 519 X 541 km.
  • The nominal mission life was one year. The satellite’s orbital life was about ten years. It re-entered in 1989.
  • The second similar satellite, the Bhaskara-II was launched in November 1981.
  • Bhaskara-I sent extensive scientific data which was used for various studies including oceanographic studies.
  • India’s first indigenously-built satellite, Aryabhatta was launched on 19th April 1975. It was built by ISRO and launched from a Soviet launch vehicle.
  • In 2008, India’s first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-I was launched by ISRO. It also launched the Mangalyaan or the Mars Orbiter Mission, India’s maiden mission to Mars in 2014. ISRO has several projects in the pipeline including a solar mission.
Also on this day

1998: India becomes the World Bank’s single-largest borrower with loans amounting to 44 billion dollars. 2002: Death of India’s fifth Vice President Basappa Danappa Jatti.

See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.

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