Aryabhatta Satellite: Purpose, Launch, Position, Facts & Details

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Aryabhatta Satellite

One of our proudest days etched in History was 19 April 1975 when India’s first space mission, the Aryabhatta Satellite was launched into space. ISRO along with the help of Russia launched the satellite into space. However, here we will reflect on what was the purpose of building the Aryabhatta satellite, how was it launched and what is its position in space. Ready for the space ride? Let’s go!

Great Indian Mathematician Aryabhatta. Aryabhatta Satellite

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Aryabhatta Satellite and Its Positioning

Aryabhatta is not only India’s first satellite it is also the first-ever unmanned satellite. The satellite was named after the 5th-century scientist Aryabhatta who was an excellent mathematician. 

This satellite was assembled in Bangalore and was launched with the help of the Soviet Union in a Russian build rocket. This artificial satellite weighed 360 kg and its apogee and perigee points were 619 km and 563 km respectively. 

It was shaped like a 26-sided polyhedron with a diameter of 1.4 metres. Leaving the top and bottom, the whole satellite was covered in Solar cells. Aryabhattha satellite was launched in a 96.3-minute orbit into the atmosphere of the Earth and its inclination was recorded to be 50.7 degrees. 

Aryabhatta Satellite Positioning
Source: NASA

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Purpose of Aryabhatta Satellite

The purpose of the Aryabhatta Satellite was to conduct X-ray astronomy experiments in the Ionosphere. It also included experiments on Aeronomics and Solar Physics. 

The satellite was designed chiefly to conduct experiments in the outer layers of the atmosphere. When it was successfully launched in 1975, it started conducting its experiments immediately. These experiments were supposed to continue for a duration of 6 months. 

Purpose of Building Aryabhatta Satellite
Source: ISRO

What Happened to India’s First Satellite? 

For four days, the satellite conducted experiments in the atmosphere. It completed 60 orbits in this duration. However, after 4 days the experiments were halted due to power failure in the satellite. 

All connections to the satellite were lost on the 5th day of the experimental journey. It was discovered that the satellite had entered orbital decay and could not function properly. It was destroyed while entering the Earth’s atmosphere in 1992.

Indias first satellite; Aryabhatta Satellite on Indian Two Rupee Note

Aryabhatta satellite was still able to communicate data within the short span of time for which it was in space. It was thrilling space missions and inspired many more. For more such informative blogs on Science and Technology stay tuned to our General Knowledge section. 

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