OTD In Space – April 10: India Launches 1st Multipurpose Satellite

  • 2 months ago
On April 10, 1982, India launched its first multipurpose satellite, INSAT-1.

This satellite was used for both communications and weather forecasting. The Indian Space Research Organization contracted NASA to launch it, and it was built by the American company Ford Aerospace. INSAT-1 lifted off on a Delta Rocket from Cape Canaveral and entered a geostationary orbit. This meant that it was always observing the same part of the planet. While its launch was successful, the satellite had some trouble with its solar arrays and antennas while in orbit. Its stabilization boom failed to deploy, so the satellite's instruments weren't pointed in the right direction. Then it used up all its propellant while trying to correct its orientation. The mission was designed to last 7 years, but it only made it to 17 months before it was abandoned.