Satellites improve life

When Sputnik 1 took an elliptical low earth orbit on 4th October 1957, as the first artificial satellite, it was considered as a mission impossible. But what the satellites were capable of, was not known much then.   

Today, when more than 700 satellites of SpaceX’s Starlink is gearing up to beam high-speed internet signals even to the remotest corners of the planet, we know that the satellite applications are immense. As a navigating guide on the road to the payment of bills in a swipe, satellites are improving our lives each and every day.

Some of the major applications of satellites are:

  • Communications: Direct -To Home (DTH) services, Internet and telephone connectivity, Banking etc,
  • Observation: Weather satellites, remote sensing satellites etc
  • Navigation: Constellation of satellites such as GPS, GLONASS, INRSS  that helps in navigation. 
  • Defence: Military and tracking satellites that support in defence.

All of these applications are directly or indirectly improving the lives of each and every individual on this planet.  Let’s see snippets of some unique and essential applications provided by the Indian satellites in the past and providing in the present. 

Finding fishes:

Yes, satellites are helping in identifying Potential Fish Zones (PFZ). Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), India, developed the satellite-based ocean forecasting model to help the fishermen to find the Potential Fish Zones across the Indian Ocean. This data is helping the fishermen to increase his catch in less time and efforts thereby saving his pockets on fuel. This project named as ‘Samudra’, was launched in 2017.

Empowering the Next-gen:

Even before the pandemic shifts the classrooms to the virtual world, ISRO, the Indian Space Agency, launched the dedicated Educational Satellite in 2004. GSAT-3 also know as EDUSAT.

EDUSAT was the world’s first dedicated educational satellite. It revolutionised the virtual classrooms in rural India, even before the penetration of internet connectivity. Particularly in the northeastern states and rural villages, the schools were provided with Satellite Interactive Terminal (SIT), through which the students can interact with teachers remotely.

Sensing Remotely :

ISRO launches the freeware geo-platform called ‘Bhuvan’ in 2009. It provides a plethora of geo-information obtained from the Indian Remote sensing satellites. The platform can be used by students, researchers, organisations, NGOs, etc., through a simple registration in the portal and utilise the satellite information according to their need, since the information is in the public domain. 

There is another portal called school Bhuvan which provides map-based learning and create awareness among the students about the natural resources and their importance in sustainable development

Space Week

It was on December 6, 1999, the UN declared October 4-10 as the World Space Week. The dates also signify the two important events: the launch of Sputnik on October 4 and the Outer Space Treaty that came into force on October 10. Officially the World Space Week is defined as: 

“an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition”.

This year’s theme is “ Satellites Improve Life”.  


EDUSAT Programme

ISRO, fisheries institute project to help fishermen find ideal fishing spots

India launches world’s first education satellite

Written by M R Raghul

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