The Coolest Missions from India’s Space Program

When you think of space exploration, NASA
or the European Space Agency probably leap to mind.
But a lot of incredible missions come from
other parts of the world, too.
Like, Japan’s JAXA returned the first samples
from an asteroid, and Russia’s Roscosmos
has a flawless record delivering astronauts
to the International Space Station.
One country you may not have thought of is
India, but the Indian Space Research Organisation,
or ISRO, is on its way to becoming a leader
in space exploration — and they’re just getting started.
When it comes to launching spacecraft, ISRO
has a great track record.
Back in February, they made global headlines
when a single Indian rocket launched 104 satellites
— a new record.
Most were shoebox-sized cubesats, but the
rocket successfully put them all on the right
paths, one every few seconds — all while
traveling at more than 27,000 kilometers per hour!
Thanks to their growing reputation, these
satellites came from all over the world, including
the U.S., Switzerland, Israel, and Kazakhstan.
In 2008, ISRO also sent their first spacecraft
to the Moon, where it did some basic science
and proved their technology worked.
But they truly arrived on the world space
scene in 2014, when their Mars Orbiter Mission
entered orbit around — you guessed it! — Mars.
That put them in a tiny club of interplanetary
nations alongside Russia, the U.S., and the
European Union.
And on top of that, ISRO were the only ones
to get into Mars orbit successfully on their first try!
That by itself is a real accomplishment, but
ISRO also had big plans to collaborate with
NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft.
MAVEN showed up at Mars at about the same
time, and both orbiters were tasked with studying
the thin Martian atmosphere.
While MAVEN’s orbit was designed to skim
near the planet, the orbit for the ISRO mission
could take the spacecraft more than 500 times
farther away, allowing researchers to piece
together a complete view of the atmosphere.
The Mars Orbiter Mission even contained a
key piece of technology NASA’s satellite
didn’t have: a methane detector.
Here on Earth, methane is primarily created
from life — like farting and burping cows
— and with ISRO’s methane detector, researchers
hoped to map the global distribution of the
gas all around Mars.
At least, that was the plan.
Unfortunately, because just getting to Mars
is such a challenge, ISRO considered the whole
mission a so-called “technology demonstration”.
So most of their efforts went into things
like interplanetary communication… not scientific instruments.
Some of their equipment worked great, but
things probably didn’t turn out so well
for the methane detector.
As of 2016, the mission hadn’t found any
methane in the Martian atmosphere.
But since other missions, like Curiosity,
have found trace amounts of it, that could
mean the ISRO orbiter just wasn’t sensitive
enough, or that there was another issue.
Now, ISRO is developing a much more capable
Martian satellite, so they could learn a lot
more in the 2020s.
And the ESA and Roscosmos’s Trace Gas Orbiter
will be investigating the methane situation
in the meantime.
Still, ISRO’s first Mars mission was a success
in a lot of way, and the organization is now
ready for even more exploration.
And until then, they’re also making major
contributions to astronomy, with a space telescope
called AstroSat that launched in 2015.
You can think of AstroSat kind of like a mash-up
of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra
X-Ray Observatory.
It’s way smaller than either of those, but
can still accomplish something really cool:
observing a single astronomical source in
a whole bunch of wavelengths at once!
“Astronomical source” is just fancy science-talk
for something in space that emits, well, anything.
In this case, AstroSat can find something
we see in the sky and study it in visible,
ultraviolet, and X-ray light — all at the
same time!
To do something like that with Hubble and
Chandra would require tons of coordination,
but AstroSat makes it happen for everything
it looks at.
And earlier this year it contributed behind
the scenes to a story you probably heard a lot about.
This June, LIGO detected gravitational waves,
or ripples in space-time caused by merging
black holes, for only the third time.
And a day after they detected them, an observatory
in Hawaii saw a flash in the very same part
of the sky.
At first, scientists thought this flash was
probably the afterglow of the merging black
holes — but it wasn’t.
Follow-up observations from AstroSat helped
determine that a distant gamma ray burst — probably
from a supernova — had just happened to
appear in the same part of the sky at almost
the exact same time.
Talk about astronomical odds, am I right?
Without AstroSat, it probably would have been
a lot harder to figure out what that flash was.
Squishing two space telescopes into one is
just one example of how ISRO puts its own
unique twist on space exploration, and they’re
not slowing down anytime soon.
In addition to their planned Mars mission,
ISRO is getting ready to land on the Moon,
and is working on missions to explore Venus,
the Sun, and even Jupiter.
It’s an ambitious plan, but they’re off
to a great start and, when it comes to exploring
space, it’s always the more, the merrier!
Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow
Space, and special thanks to our patrons on
Patreon for making it happen!
If you’d like to support the show, you can
go to

100 Replies to “The Coolest Missions from India’s Space Program”

  1. Future ISRO scientific missions
    Chandrayaan 2
    Mangalyaan 2
    Aditya (Solar Mission)
    Astrosat 2
    Mission to Jupiter and Saturn(planned)
    Helium 3 mining from Moon
    and many more…

  2. I love may indiya ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  3. India :We made history by launching a satellite to mars on the first attempt!
    Pakistan :๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ขIndia built toilets!๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

  4. Great video.. but Chandrayaan 1 conducted "BASIC SCIENCE" on the moon?? It was the first spacecraft to detect "WATER ON THE MOON"!!

  5. Minutes before The moon mission just took off from sreeharikotte, Indiaโ™ฅ๏ธโ™ฅ๏ธโ™ฅ๏ธโ™ฅ๏ธ

  6. Thank you. Just launched another satellite along with a rover to the dark side of the moon. Another big step for humanity. Congratulations to us all, We the people on Earth.

  7. ISRO mission is very much cost-effective just 74 million to go to mars that's so great to do entire mars mission less than a Hollywood movies

  8. I was looking for Information regarding Astrosat i read few info on Official ISRO website. But this helped me a lot and I got to know our ISRO is been key partner in solving some miracles in space….

  9. As an Indian- India has a lot of problems with corrupted bureaucracy. But as a nation India always strives for world peace and harmony and this is an example of it.

  10. All was fine. But being a scientist at ISRO, I myself never knew about the mission to Jupiter. LOL!!!!!!

  11. Actually India has launched it's second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 on July 22nd. It'll land there after 50 days. Waiting for the touchdown. Fingers crossed. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

  12. How this white man managing to show ISRO as a child in space program but this guy is just missing that future belongs here with ISROs next big giant missions.

  13. Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission), Orbiter was designed to be operational for 6 months. It's still operational after 4 years and 10 months.

  14. ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 had invented THE WATER IN THE MOON. You should tell that. MARS MISSION is so cheap that it has done less than the Hollywood movie Gravity. You would not tell that. Because NASA makes you blind.

  15. India cares more about its space programme than its citizens. It launches Mars missions while millions live in slums.

  16. And we are on a ongoing mission of Chandrayan-2. It will be in the moon's orbit in 20th August 2019. And land on the south pole of the moon by 6-7SEP19. ๐Ÿค—

  17. 2022-gaganyan mission(men and woman in space),2030-india's own space station,also aditya l1-sun mission,sukrayaan-venus mission

  18. U didn't mention about isro first moon mission chandrayaan which discovered water with help of American instrument

  19. Came to comment section expecting hate and racism , was surprised to see such support and words of encouragement . Great community .

  20. Thank you SciShow Space. MOM's colour camera MCC made a "Mars Atlas" by taking many full disk images of Mars, also there are some interesting observations by the onboard Mass Spectrometer – MENCA: it observed the evening time exosphere of Mars (, as well as given first evidence for "hot" argon atoms in the exosphere – which gives some hint on atmospheric escape at Mars, with contributions from MAVEN ( Below are the scientific publications related these.

  21. I dont understand why americans hate us just say why
    What we indians have donw to you
    Just coz we are poor and trying to serve ourself along with humanity so
    Please dont spread hate
    Let that work be reserved for pakistanis
    But nasa plays a hypocritic role
    In all research org. They dont like when an org grow

  22. 5000 years earlier when people in other parts of the world used to live as Apes in caves, our Indus valley civilization was at its peak that time. We Indians knew Engineering, Astronomy, Maths, Science, literature. The first University in the world Takshashila University was in India before christ. Our economy was the largest economy in the world. Then in 1000 AD Mughals invaded us. They destroyed our Universities and temples. They looted us. When Spanish people came to know about India's wealth they started looking for India via sea route. That's when they accidentally found North America. Before Spanish could find India. The Portuguese already found India. They started trade with Indians and their economy thrived on it. When the British came to know about India they set up their East India Company in India. They started exploriting us. But when we resisted they waged war against us and colonised us. After 200 years of colonisation the British made India very poor by looting wealth from India and shipping it back to England for 200 years. The half of all the British wealth in 1947 was looted from India.
    All these rulers could rule us so many years because we were divided into small Kingdom's after the fall of Ashoka's Empire. Ashoka was just like Alexander but when he saw people suffering due to war, he gave up war and seeked for peace. He accepted Buddhism and spread it all over the world. Buddha himself was born in Lumbini in India. Our Indian religions Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism never waged war upon any other country. But it was not the case with the European christians and the Muslims of the middle-east. They invaded us and colonised us. But once again the tide is turning in favour of Indians and Chinese. Both of our countries are going to surpass US economy and become true world leaders. It just took 70 years for us to recover from the poverty and now we are well on the way to become the third largest economy in the world by 2025 and we will be the second largest economy in the world by 2040 only next to the Chinese which will be the largest economy in the world.

    Note for all Indians : If we stay united no one in this world can defeat us. We can achieve anything. But do not let anyone divide us on the name of language, caste or religion. We are more diverse than any other country in the world. Unity in diversity is our strength. If we stay together no one can stop us.

    – Jai Hind

  23. Chandrayaan 1 not just did some basic science. It was the first mission that discover water on the surface of moon..!!!

  24. Yeahhhhh baby, India is growing at fast pace !!!! Yup, Indians are great with math too.

    "Check out how many INDIANS worked in NASA. From 1980-2000 For all their missions."

  25. You never mentioned that ISRO first discovered water on moon by their moon impact probe which was in Chandrayaan one mission with it NASA's Moon mineralogy mapper was also launched by isro (which later conformed presence of water on moon) and also some other European space agencies measuring equipments also carried with ISRO's Chandrayan one mission for free. Google it who discovered water on moon first.

  26. Sep 7 India is going to become 4th country to soft land on moon, and 1st country to explore moons South pole, it has orbitor + lander + rover,

  27. Hi am from India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ.. Nice video! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป.. You forgot to mention one thing Chandrayaan 1 was the first to find water on moom.. Big thing.. History ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  28. Lost connection just 2 kms away from the Moon surface ๐Ÿ˜ญ
    We will not stop here. Jai hind. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  29. Proud to be Indian โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  30. I don't know why people find it hard to accept that india discovered water on moon. No mention of it. People don't realise how big is this achievement

  31. Fun fact : the budget of the mangalyaan mission( mars mission) of ISRO was less than the budget of movie 'Gravity'

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *