Aryabhata (satellite)

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Aryabhata Satellite.jpg
File photo of Aryabhata, India's first indigenously built satellite.
Mission typeAstrophysics
COSPAR ID1975-033A
SATCAT no.07752Edit this on Wikidata
Mission durationPlanned: 6 months
Active till: −5 years, 11 months[1]
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass360 kilograms (790 lb)[2][1]
Power46 watts [1]
Start of mission
Launch date19 April 1975, 07:30 (1975-04-19UTC07:30Z) UTC[3]
Launch siteKapustin Yar 107/2
End of mission
Last contactMarch 1975 (1975-04)[1]
Decay date10 February 1992[1]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude563 kilometres (350 mi)[1]
Apogee altitude619 kilometres (385 mi)[1]
Inclination50.7 degrees[1]
Period96.46 minutes
Epoch19 May 1975[5]

Aryabhatta was India's first satellite,[2] named after the famous Indian astronomer of the same name.[6]


It was launched by India on 19 April 1975[2] from Kapustin Yar, a Russian rocket launch and development site in Astrakhan Oblast using a Kosmos-3M launch vehicle. It was built by the Indian Space Research Organisation.The launch came from an agreement between India and the Soviet Union directed by UR Rao and signed in 1972. It allowed the USSR to use Indian ports for tracking ships and launching vessels in return for launching Indian satellites.[7]

On 19 April 1975, the satellite's 96.46-minute orbit had an apogee of 619 kilometres (385 mi) and a perigee of 563 kilometres (350 mi), at an inclination of 50.7 degrees.[5][1] 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.[4] A power failure halted experiments after four days and 60 orbits with all signals from the spacecraft lost after five days of the operation.[citation needed] Spacecraft mainframe remained active till March 1981.[1] Due to orbital decay the satellite entered Earth's atmosphere on 11 February 1992.[1]


  • It was named after the 5th century astronomer and mathematician from India by the same name.[8]
  • The satellite's image appeared on the reverse of Indian two rupee banknotes between 1976 and 1997 (Pick catalog).[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Aryabhata". Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Aryabhata" in The New Encyclopædia Britannica. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 15th edn., 1992, Vol. 1, p. 611.
  3. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Aryabhata". Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Aryabhata - The first indigenously built satellite".
  7. ^ Harvey, Brian (2000). The Japanese and Indian space programmes : two roads into space. London [u.a.]: Springer [u.a.] p. 133. ISBN 1-85233-199-2.
  8. ^ Harvey, Brian (2000). The Japanese and Indian Space Programmes: Two Roads into Space. London: Springer. p. 134. ISBN 1-85233-199-2.

External links[edit]