The first Indian satellite – Aryabhata – was launched into Earth’s orbit at an altitude of about 600 kilometers, so it circled the planet every 96.3 minutes.
On this day in 1975 the first Indian satellite was launched into space. It was named Aryabhata, after the famous Indian astronomer who lived about 1,500 years ago. Namely, the astronomer Aryabhata was the first of many great Indian scholars of celestial phenomena back from the time these skills flourished in India. It should be noted that Aryabhata lived in the 5th and early 6th century, just after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
The first Indian satellite Aryabhata weighed 360 kg and had a diameter of about 140 centimeters. Although the Indians made it, it is interesting that it was not launched from India, but from the former Soviet Union. To be more precise, the Soviet cosmodrome Kapustin Yar was used, which is located in Russia along the Volga River, some 700 kilometers southeast of Moscow. Kapustin Yar is sometimes referred to as “Russia’s Roswell” due to its involvement in secret projects.
Satellite Aryabhata was launched using a Kosmos-3M launch vehicle. The Kosmos remains a popular rocket, which has thus far performed more than 400 successful launches. It weighs about 109 tons. Satellite Aryabhata was launched into Earth’s orbit at an altitude of about 600 kilometers, so that it circled the planet every 96.3 minutes. Unfortunately, that first satellite was not particularly successful, because its transmission to Earth stopped after five days due to a power failure. However, the satellite remained in orbit over the next 17 years, when it finally crashed to Earth.