Astronomy:Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station
Launch of RH-300 Mk2 from TERLS
|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.
600 acres of land was acquired for TERLS with the assistance of a local Bishop, Rev. Peter Bernard Periera, Bishop of Trivandrum, Vincent Victor Dereere and district collector Madhavan Nair.The building of the St Mary Magdalene Church was used as the rocket workshop and the bishop's house as the office. The building now houses a space museum. 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.
|“||A very young engineer responsible for inserting the payload in the nose cone, spent the night before the launch working with a file in order to fit a (French) equipment to an (American) rocket environment. The name of this young fellow is A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.||”|
|— Jacques Blamont, From Fishing Hamlet to Red Planet:53|
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. Later launches also used the Centaure rockets provided by the CNES.
Thumba's location 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.
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Original source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station. Read more