|Location||Thumba, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Established||21 November 1963|
Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) is an Indian spaceport established on 21 November 1963.Operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), it is located in Thumba, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, which is near the southern tip of mainland India, very close to earth's magnetic equator. It is currently used by ISRO for launching sounding rockets.
The first rockets were assembled in former St Louis High School, which houses now a space museum.The local Bishop, Rev. Peter Bernard Periera, Bishop of Trivandrum, Vincent Victor Dereere (a Belgian) and district collector Madhavan Nair were instrumental in acquiring a large parcel of land measuring 600 acres from coastal community. The Bishop Rev. Periera had given away the prayer hall and bishop's room in the local church for scientific pursuits of A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. Then Minister of State for External Affairs, Lakshmi N. Menon helped a lot in smoothing the bureaucratic hurdles before the project at Delhi. H.G.S. Murthy was appointed as the first Director of Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station.
The sounding rocket systems for the launch were loaned by NASA and payload was provided by CNES. The event did not gain the global media attention it deserved due to the Assassination of John F. Kennedy that happened in the following day.
Thumba'slocation at 8°32'34" N and 76°51'32" E is ideal for low-altitude, upper atmosphere and ionosphere studies. Thumba is a small fishing village situated close to the Thiruvananthapuram airport in Kerala. Thumba is also one of the farthest points from Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Thiruvananthapuram, also known by its former name Trivandrum, is the capital of the Indian state of Kerala. It is the most populous city in Kerala with a population of 957,730 as of 2011. The encompassing urban agglomeration population is around 1.68 million. Located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland, Thiruvananthapuram is a major information technology hub in Kerala and contributes 55% of the state's software exports as of 2016. Referred to by Mahatma Gandhi as the "Evergreen city of India", the city is characterised by its undulating terrain of low coastal hills.
Sriharikota is a barrier island off the Bay of Bengal coast located in the Shar Project settlement of Tirupati district in Andhra Pradesh, India. It houses the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, one of the two satellite launch centres in India. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launches satellites using multistage rockets such as the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle from Sriharikota.
Events in the year 1963 in the Republic of India.
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Ramabhadran Aravamudan was an Indian space scientist and engineer who was associated with the Indian space programme from its initial days in 1962. Through his career he served as the director of the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station, Satish Dhawan Space Centre, and the ISRO Satellite centre. He was a recipient of the 2009 Aryabhata Award from the Astronautical Society of India.
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