The Indian space programme has the unique distinction of being born in a place of worship: the St. Mary Magdalene Church in Thumba, a fishing hamlet near Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. From those humble beginnings in 1963, the national space programme grew under the visionary guidance of Vikram Sarabhai and Satish Dhawan to become a technological giant, known today as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Sarabhai created ISRO in 1969.
This year, 2019, marks the birth centenary of Sarabhai and the 50th anniversary of ISRO. This book celebrates the double anniversary through over 370 photographs, lovingly curated by the authors from a collection of 2000. Some of them have never been seen before by the public, while others are eye-catchingly beautiful.
The authors have worked on this book – their tribute to Vikram Sarabhai – for over five years, always keeping abreast with the latest developments in ISRO: from its birth in 1963 to Chandrayaan-2, whose launch is imminent.
This is the story of ISRO told through images. The pictures speak for themselves!
PV Manoranjan Rao obtained his PhD from Calcutta University and completed his post-doc work at Nagoya University, Japan. A space physicist, Rao has been writing on the history of ISRO since his retirement as Group Director from Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in 1996. Till date, he has written/edited four books on the subject. His book, A Brief History of Rocketry in ISRO, co-authored with P Radhakrishnan, won the 2014 Engineering Sciences Book Award of the International Academy of Astronautics.
BN Suresh, a leading authority on launch vehicle technology, was formerly Director of VSSC and a member of the Space Commission. His most recent publication, Integrated Design of Space Transportation System, co-authored with K Sivan, Chairman of ISRO, is an authoritative account of the subject. Currently, he is Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology in Thiruvanathapuram and Honorary Distinguished Professor at ISRO Headquarters, Bengaluru. He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan (2013) by the Government of India for his seminal contributions to ISRO.
VP Balagangadharan, a former scientist in VSSC, is a specialist in ISRO’s outreach activities and in Intellectual Property Rights. He works closely with PV Manoranjan Rao in documenting the history of ISRO. Till date, he has written/edited four books, including one on rockets for children and two in Malayalam on the history of ISRO.
The Sarabhai Decade
The Dhawan Era
Rockets of ISRO
Satellites of ISRO
ISRO and Industry
ISRO in the Service of the Nation
Of People and Places
Future: A Glimpse
List of Abbreviations