Aryabhata (satellite)

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Aryabhata Satellite.jpg
Mission type Astrophysics
Operator ISRO
COSPAR ID 1975-033A
SATCAT № 7752
Mission duration 4 days achieved
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass 360 kg (794 lb)[1]
Power 46 watts
Start of mission
Launch date 19 April 1975, 07:30 (1975-04-19UTC07:30Z) UTC[2]
Rocket Kosmos-3M
Launch site Kapustin Yar 107/2
End of mission
Last contact 24 April 1975 (1975-04-25)
Decay date 11 February 1992
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 568 kilometres (353 mi)
Apogee 611 kilometres (380 mi)
Inclination 50.6 degrees
Period 96.46 minutes
Epoch 19 May 1975[3]

Aryabhata was India's first satellite,[1] named after the great Indian astronomer of the same name.[4]


It was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975[1] from Kapustin Yar using a Kosmos-3M launch vehicle. It was built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to gain experience in building and operating a satellite in space.[5]

On 19 May 1975 the satellite's 96.46-minute orbit had an apogee of 611 kilometres (380 mi) and a perigee of 568 kilometres (353 mi), at an inclination of 50.6 degrees.[3] It was built to conduct experiments in X-ray astronomy, aeronomics, and solar physics. The spacecraft was a 26-sided polyhedron 1.4 metres (4.6 ft) in diameter. All faces (except the top and bottom) were covered with solar cells. A power failure halted experiments after four days in orbit with all signals from the spacecraft lost after five days of operation. The satellite reentered the Earth's atmosphere on 11 February 1992.

Legacy and memory[edit]

1984 USSR stamp featuring Bhaskara-I, Bhaskara-II and Aryabhata satellites

The satellite's image appeared on the reverse of Indian 2 rupee banknotes between 1976 and 1997 (Pick catalog and one rupee note number: P-79a-m).[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Aryabhata" in The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., 15th edn., 1992, Vol. 1, p. 611.
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Aryabhata - The first indigenously built satellite". 
  5. ^ "Aryabhatta - India's First Satellite". 27 October 2009. Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Cuhaj, George S. (ed.). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money 3 (10 ed.). Krause Publications. 

External links[edit]