This article is about the first Indian satellite . For the astronomer, see Aryabhata
1984 USSR stamp featuring Bhaskara
-I, Bhaskara-II and Aryabhata satellites
Aryabhata was India's first satellite, named after the great Indian astronomer of the same name. It was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975 from Kapustin Yar using a Cosmos-3M launch vehicle. It was built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to gain experience in building and operating a satellite in space.
The 96.3 minute orbit had an apogee of 619 km and a perigee of 563 km, at an inclination of 50.7 degrees. It was built to conduct experiments in X-ray astronomy, aeronomics, and solar physics. The spacecraft was a 26-sided polygon 1.4 m in diameter. All faces (except the top and bottom) were covered with solar cells. A power failure halted experiments after 4 days in orbit. All signals from the spacecraft were lost after 5 days of operation. The satellite reentered the Earth's atmosphere on 11 February 1992. 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).
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