India recognised the potential of space science and technology for the socio-economic development of the society soon after the launch of Sputnik by erstwhile USSR in 1957. The Indian space efforts started in the sixties with the establishment of Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station near Thiruvananthapuram for the investigation of ionosphere using sounding rockets. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), was established in 1969 under the Department of Atomic Energy. The Government of India gave fillip to the space activities by formally setting up the Space Commission and the Department of Space (DOS) in June 1972 and ISRO was also brought under Department of Space.
Over the last three decades, India has achieved an enviable progress in the design, development and operation of space systems, as well as using the systems for vital services like telecommunication, television broadcasting, meteorology, disaster warning and natural resources survey and management. The space