ISRO celebrates diamond jubilee of first sounding rocket launch

In a grand ceremony held at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), ISRO commemorated the 60th anniversary of its maiden foray into space with the launch of the Nike-Apache sounding rocket from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station on November 21, 1963.

The event was graced by the presence of Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for the Ministry of Science and Technology, who inaugurated the program. Shri S Somanath, Chairman of ISRO and Secretary of the Department of Space (DOS), presided over the function, while Shri V Muralidharan, Minister of State for the Ministry of External Affairs, addressed the gathering.

Notable dignitaries, including Shri G Madhavan Nair, former Chairman of ISRO, directors from various ISRO centres (VSSC, LPSC, SDSC, HSFC, IPRC, and IISU), former directors of VSSC, veteran employees who served during the initial years, and senior officials of ISRO centres, attended the grand celebration.

Further, as part of the jubilee festivities, an exhibition showcasing the Past, Present, and Future programs of ISRO was organized.

The 2452nd-sounding rocket launch from Thumba, a Rohini 200, added a spectacular touch to the event.

Besides, Dr. Jitendra Singh unveiled a diamond jubilee monument near the launch control centre, symbolizing six decades of India’s achievements in space exploration.

Highlighting the importance of education, ISRO invited 60 students from various schools in the Thiruvananthapuram district for an interactive session with Chairman S Somanath.

Furthermore, installations featuring scaled models of launch vehicles were strategically placed at three prominent locations in the city as part of a public outreach initiative.

During the event that marked the celebration of 60 years of India’s Space Odyssey, Chairman S Somanath announced that the diamond jubilee celebrations would extend across different ISRO centres in the coming months, culminating on National Space Day, observed on August 23rd.

The festivities aim to not only reflect on ISRO’s illustrious history but also to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers to contribute to India’s continued advancements in space exploration.