First Indian National Satellite

Thirty years ago today — April 10, 1982 — Indian National Satellite 1A (INSAT-1A) was launched from Cape Canaveral on a Delta rocket.

(Depiction of INSAT-1A from the ISRO website.)

INSAT-1A combined communications, meteorology, and optical imaging payloads that were intended to provide disaster warnings to remote civilian populations. However, the spacecraft’s attitude control system ran out of propellant less than a year and a half into its 7-year mission. According to the Indian Space Research Organization’s INSAT-1A page, ISRO abandoned the spacecraft in September 1983.

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