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Aryabhata (satellite)

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 Script error: No such module "convert".
Apogee Script error: No such module "convert".
Inclination 50.6 degrees
Period 96.46 minutes
Epoch 19 May 1975[3]

Aryabhata was India's first satellite,[1] named after an 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] The launch came from an agreement between India and the Soviet Union directed by U.R. Rao and signed in 1972. It allowed the USSR to use India ports for tracking ships and launching vessels in return for launching India satellites.[6]

On 19 April 1975 the satellite's 96.46-minute orbit had an apogee of Script error: No such module "convert". and a perigee of Script error: No such module "convert"., 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 Script error: No such module "convert". in diameter. All faces (except the top and bottom) were covered with solar cells. A power failure halted experiments after four days and 60 orbits with all signals from the spacecraft lost after five days of operation. According the Soviet media reports, the satellite continued to function and transmit information for some time. The satellite reentered the Earth's atmosphere on 11 February 1992.


File:1984 CPA 5493.jpg
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).[7]

Aryabhata was named for the 5th century astronomer and mathematician from India by the same name.[8]


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  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. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Cuhaj, George S. (ed.). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money 3 (10 ed.). Krause Publications. 
  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