Indian Space Programme
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Current Science, Indian Academy of Sciences, Volume 93, Number 12, Bangalore, p.1645–1646 (2007)
Modern space science had its beginnings around 1946 when scientists started the deployment of instruments to the outer fringes of the earth?s atmosphere using balloons and rockets to study radiations from outer space as well as geophysical phenomena. In spite of the professed scientific goals for the first earth satellite missions, the launch of SPUTNIK on 4 October 1957 by the then Soviet Union added a new dimension to the cold war between the US and the Soviet Union. The early scientific satellite missions of the US also had implicit goals of pursuing US interest in establishing the International legal principle that national sovereignty did not extend to the altitudes at which the satellite would orbit. Thus there was no obstacle in International law to the overflight of a reconnaissance satellite over Soviet territory. Against this backdrop, it is significant to note that the early inspiration for the Indian Space Programme came not from any military objectives, but from the interests of a large scientific community who have been actively engaged in research programmes related to geophysics and astrophysics.
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