Imagine the Universe!
Imagine Home | Satellites and Data |


Full resolution image
photo of Aryabhata
Credit: ISRO

* Mission Overview

Aryabhata was India's first satellite, named after a ancient Indian mathematician (5th century AD). It was launched by the Russians on 19 April 1975 from Kapustin Yar. The 96.3 minute orbit had an apogee of 619 km and a perigee of 563 km, at an inclination of 50.7 degrees. Aryabhata was built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to conduct experiments in X-ray astronomy, aeronomics, and solar physics. The spacecraft was a 26-sided polygon 1.4 m in diameter. All faces (except the top and bottom) were covered with solar cells. A power failure halted experiments after 4 days in orbit. All signals from the spacecraft were lost after 5 days of operation. The satellite reentered the Earth's atmosphere on 11 February 1992.

[Publications] (

Imagine the Universe is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Imagine Team
Acting Project Leader: Dr. Barbara Mattson
All material on this site has been created and updated between 1997-2012.

DVD Table of Contents
Educator's Index