Aryabhata, India’s first satellite, was successfully launched into a near earth orbit on 19 April 1975, from a USSR cosmodrome. The launch of the satellite proved India’s indigenous capability in satellite technology. The satellite also included three scientific experiments. The launch of the satellite not only proved the India’s capability but also created  the expert scientists and engineers who  contributed significantly in launching India’s first mission to Moon, Chandrayaan-I.

Objectives of the Aryabhata Mission,

  • Indigenous design and fabrication of a satellite and the evaluation of its performance in orbit
  • To have the capability to perform a series of complex operations on the satellite in the orbit
  • To have the capability to set-up the necessary ground stations required to communicate with the satellite.
  • To test the capability to fabricate, test and qualify the sophisticated spacecraft systems.


Aryabhata satellite




Buran was USSR’s response to US’s space shuttle program. Though, both of the space shuttle programs are based on the German project called “antipode-bomber”. The meaning of Buran is “Snowstorm” in Russian. In 1970s, the US made the space shuttle program as the important goal to achieve their manned space program. However, it is believed that USSR’s objective was to develop capability to deliver nuclear war heads.

Courtesy: Russian space agency

Corona Satellite

Corona Satellites

The Corona satellite is the first reconnaissance satellite in the world. The Corona series of satellite was developed by the USA during the cold war. The project was approved by President Dwight David Eisenhower in February 1958. The USA used these satellites for the surveillance of the USSR and China. It was also used for mapping imagery. In addition to being the first reconnaissance satellite, it was also,

  • 1st mid-air recovery of a vehicle returning from space
  • 1st mapping of earth from space
  • 1st stereo-optical data from space
  • 1st multiple reentry vehicles from space
  • 1st reconnaissance program to fly 100 missions


Fig. Corona Satellite

Dennis Tito

Dennis Tito

Dennis Tito, age 68, is the first space tourist in the world to pay for the space trip. He reportedly paid between 12 million to 20 million to Russian space agency for the trip. Previously, Japanese television news producer Toyohiro Akiyama was flown into MIR station. He spent 10 days in Space. However, he didn’t pay anything for the space trip. Dennis’s trip created dissatisfaction in NASA administration as he chose to go with Russian space agency for the space trip.



Dennis launched to space on April 28th, 2001 through Soyuz TM-32 along with 2 other crew members. On May 6th 2001, he returned to Earth along with 2 Russian astronauts in Soyuz TM-31. He spent 7d 22h 04m in Space. He apparently performed some experiments in the orbit which is supposed to be useful for its company and business.





Fig. Dennis Tito



Date of birth
August 8th, 1940


B.S. from New York University College of Engineering in astronautics and aeronautics (1962.
M.S. in Engineering Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1964).
Honorary doctorate of engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on 18 May 2002.


Work experience
He worked in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena for 5 years (1964-1969). He was responsible to design
trajectories for the Mariner 4 and 9 missions to Mars and the Mariner 5 mission to Venus.


He founded Wilshire Associates a leading provider of investment management, consulting and technology services 1972. He came up with a mathematical tool to analyze market risks. Apparently, this tool is based on the techniques that Dennis invented to determine a spacecraft’s path while working at NASA.




Dennis space trip opened a new window to space tourism which has been pursued by many companies now. There are many private space tourists after Dennis like,

Mark Shuttleworth ($20 million)
Gregory Olsen ($20 million)
Anoushen Ansari (first female space tourist)
Charles Simonyi
Richard Garriott Age ($30 million)


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