The Department of Space (DOS) has the primary objective of promoting development and application of space science and technology to assist in all-round development of the nation.
Towards this, DOS has evolved the following programmes :
- Launch Vehicle programme having indigenous capability for launching spacecrafts.
- INSAT Programme for telecommunications, broadcasting, meteorology, development of education etc.
- Remote Sensing Programme for 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 setting up 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 started. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was established in August 1969. The Government of India constituted the Space Commission
and established the Department of Space (DOS) in June 1972 and brought ISRO under DOS in September 1972.
The Space Commission
formulates 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 through, 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, established in 1992 as a government owned company, markets the space products and services.
The establishment of space systems and their applications are coordinated 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 are located at Antariksh Bhavan in Bangalore. Programme 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.