Nearly 4 years after its first indigenous satellite, Aryabhata, India, launched its first experimental remote sensing satellite. It was named Bhaskara-1. It was launched on 7 June 1979 from the Volgograd Space Center (Russia). And it weighed 442 kg and had a lifespan of only 1 year. The satellite installed in the low earth orbit was a big success for ISRO. In the 75th year of independence under the Amrit Mahotsav series, today, we will know how Bhaskara 1 helped India make its mark in space.
After launching the Aryabhata satellite in 1975, ISRO got another big success in the year 1979. Bhaskara-1, the first experimental remote sensing satellite built by ISRO, was launched on 7 June 1979 in present-day Russia. The satellite was launched by the C1 Intercosmos Vehicle. It was India’s first attempt to send an experimental remote sensing satellite into space. ISRO got great success in this very first attempt. After Aryabhata, this satellite was also named after the great Indian mathematician Bhaskara.
The main purpose
The main objective of the Bhaskara 1 satellite was to collect data on hydrology, oceanography, forestry, and telemetry. This satellite was India’s first Low Orbit Earth Observation satellite. According to the information, its weight at the launch was 442 kg. The satellite was equipped with a TV camera and a three-band microwave radiometer. The function of the television camera sensor was to collect data related to hydrology, forestry, and science. Talk about the same thing, moreover, the work of the microwave radiometer system was to study the ocean, water vapour, etc.
It was very helpful for the scientists to understand the land-sea-atmosphere interaction better. It also helped a lot in forecasting the weather. A fortnight after its launch on 7 June 1979, Bhaskara 1’s microwave radiometer system was successfully commissioned. Firstly, it began to understand the temperature distribution over the subcontinent and neighbouring oceans, the process of vapour formation in the atmosphere. Simultaneously it began sending useful data related to rainfall and humidity over the surface of the Indian Ocean.
Contribution of Bhaskara-1
Although the satellite’s microwave radiometer system was working, another major part was unsuccessful. The satellite cameras were shut down for about a year due to a power failure. But its camera started working on 16 May 1980. And then it sent pictures of cloud formation over the Bay of Bengal. The mission life of this satellite was one year, and the orbit life was about 10 years. Moving forward in this sequence, ISRO launched the second satellite, Bhaskara 2, in November 1981. Bhaskara-1 sent massive data used for various research and studies, including oceanography.
In conclusion, the launch of Bhaskara-1 was the first step that paved the way for Future Launches related to remote sensing. Because of this, India progressed in many scientific fields and competed with the world. The scientists of our country got very important information from the data released by Bhaskara 1. Such information will be of great use in various researches and studies in the future. Finally, today India is progressing a lot in science, in which the contribution of Bhaskara 1 is commendable.