Diamond Jubilee of India’s first sounding rocket launch from Thumba

The Diamond Jubilee of India’s first sounding rocket launch from Thumba in Kerala providentially coincides with the year 2023 which saw the historic twin feats of Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya-L1 missions, said the Union Minister of State for Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh.

The year 2023 will also go down in history as the year when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared 23rd of August, the day Chandrayaan-3 landed on the Moon, as ‘National Space Day’, said Dr Jitendra Singh, while addressing the Commemoration of the 60th year of the First Sounding Rocket Launch at a function at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launch Station (TERLS).

He witnessed the ceremonial launch of a similar Sounding Rocket undertaken from the Space pod where the original launch took place on November 21, 1963. In a symbolic gesture, the countdown was being announced by Pramod P. Kale, who read out the countdown way back on the first launch 60 years ago.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, the success of Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya-L1 missions reiterates India’s indigenous capabilities and vindicates the dream that Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the first Chairman of ISRO and the founding father of India’s Space Programme, saw six decades ago.

Stating that India’s Space feats are a testimony to the ‘whole of science and the whole of nation’ approach, Dr Jitendra Singh thanked PM Modi for realising this dream to translate it into reality “by opening up new vistas for India’s space sector and telling us that ‘Sky is not the Limit’.”

“India established its own regional navigation satellites system serving the strategic and civilian requirements in the last 9 years. PM Modi initiated Space sector reforms, making Space easily accessible for Indian private players and a comprehensive Indian Space Policy 2023 was released covering all stakeholders,” he said.

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