Aerospace Testing Facilities in India

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

The space research activities were initiated in our country during the early 1960s, when applications using satellites were in experimental stages even in the United States. With the live transmission of Tokyo Olympic Games across the Pacific by the American Satellite Syncom-3 demonstrating the power of communication satellites, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the founding father of Indian space programme, quickly recognized the benefits of space technologies for India.

Since inception, the Indian space programme has been orchestrated well and had three distinct elements such as, satellites for communication and remote sensing, the space transportation system and application programmes. The INCOSPAR (Indian National Committee for Space Research) was initiated under the leadership of Dr. Sarabhai and Dr. Ramanathan. In 1967, the first Experimental Satellite Communication Earth Station (ESCES) located in Ahmedabad was operationalized, which also doubled as a training centre for the Indian as well as International scientists and engineers.

During this period, the first Indian spacecraft Aryabhata was developed and was launched using a Soviet Launcher. Another major landmark was the development of the first launch vehicle SLV-3 with a capability to place 40 kg in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which had its first successful flight in 1980. Through the SLV-3 programme, competence was built up for the overall vehicle design, mission design, material, hardware fabrication, solid propulsion technology, control power plants, avionics, vehicle integration checkout and launch operations. Development of mult-istage rocket systems with appropriate control and guidance systems to orbit a satellite was a major landmark in our space programme. In the experimental phase during 80s, end-to-end capability demonstration was done in the design, development and in-orbit management of space systems together with the associated ground systems for the users. Bhaskara-I & II missions were pioneering steps in the remote sensing area whereas Ariane Passenger Payload Experiment (APPLE) became the forerunner for future communication satellite system. Development of the complex Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV), also demonstrated newer technologies like use of strap-on, bulbous heat shield, closed loop guidance and digital autopilot. This paved the way for learning many nuances of launch vehicle design for complex missions, leading the way for realisation of operational launch vehicles such as PSLV and GSLV.

During the operational phase in 90s, major space infrastructure was created under two broad classes: one for the communication, broadcasting and meteorology through a multi-purpose Indian National Satellite system (INSAT), and the other for Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS) system. The development and operationalisation of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and development of Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) were significant achievements during this phase.


Our vision is to harness space technology for national development, while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration.


Design and development of launch vehicles and related technologies for providing access to space.
Design and development of satellites and related technologies for earth observation, communication, navigation, meteorology and space science.
Indian National Satellite (INSAT) programme for meeting telecommunication, television broadcasting and developmental applications.
Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS) programme for management of natural resources and monitoring of environment using space based imagery.
Space based Applications for Societal development and Disaster Management Support.
Research and Development in space science and planetary exploration.


Operational flights of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)
Developmental flight of Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV- Mk II)
Development of heavy lift Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-Mk III)
Development of semi-cryogenic technology for future launch vehicles.
Design, Development and Realization of Communication Satellites
Design, Development and Realization of Earth Observation Satellites
Development of Navigation Satellite Systems
Development of Space Science and Planetary Exploration Satellite Systems
Earth Observation Applications
Space based systems for Societal Applications
Advanced Technologies and newer initiatives
Training, Capacity building and Education
Promotion of Space technology
Infrastructure, Facility Development & Mission Operations Support
International Cooperation

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