The Department of Space (DoS) is an Indian government department undertaken for the administration of the Indian space program. It organizes several agencies and institutes related to space exploration and space technologies.
The Indian space program under the DoS focus to promote the development and application of space science and technology for the socio-economic benefit of the country. It covers two major satellite systems, INSAT for communication, television broadcasting and meteorological services, and Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS) system for resources monitoring and management. It has also developed two satellite launch vehicles, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), to place IRS and INSAT class satellites in orbit.
The Department of Space (DOS) has the major objective of promoting development and application of space science and technology to assist in the all-round development of the nation. Towards this, DOS has evolved the following programmes :
- Launch Vehicle projects having the indigenous capability for launching spacecraft.
- INSAT projects for telecommunications, broadcasting, meteorology, development of education etc.
- Remote Sensing project for the application of satellite imagery for various developmental purposes.
- Research and Development in Space Sciences and Technology for serving the end of applying them for national development.
With the establishment of Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) in 1962, the space activities in the country were initiated. In the same year, the work on Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) near Thiruvananthapuram was also commenced. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was set up in August 1969. The Government of India constituted the Space Commission and set up the Department of Space (DOS) in June 1972 and brought ISRO under DOS in September 1972.
The Space Commission sets the policies and oversees the implementation of the Indian space programme to promote the development and application of space science and technology for the socio-economic benefit of the country. DOS implements these programmes by, mainly, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), North Eastern-Space Applications Centre (NE-SAC) and Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL). The Antrix Corporation, set up in 1992 as a government-owned company, markets the space products and services.
The establishment of space systems and their applications are helped by the national level committees, namely, INSAT Coordination Committee (ICC), Planning Committee on National Natural Resources Management System (PC-NNRMS) and Advisory Committee of on Space Sciences (ADCOS).
The Secretariat of DOS and ISRO Headquarters is situated at Antariksh Bhavan in Bangalore. Project offices at ISRO Headquarters coordinate the programmes like satellite communication, earth observation, launch vehicle, space science, disaster management support, sponsored research scheme, contracts management, international cooperation, safety, reliability, publications and public relations, budget & economic analysis, civil engineering and human resources development.