- HOLY PLACES
The main launch site of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The Satish Dhawan Space Centre, also known as the Sriharikota Range (SHAR), is located on Sriharikota Island (13.9° N, 80.3° E), about 80 km north of Chennai. This island was chosen in 1969 for setting up of a satellite launching station because of various factors; a good launch azimuth corridor for various missions, ability to utilize Earth's rotation for eastward launchings, nearness to the equator, and large uninhabited area, offering a safety zone. The facilities at SDSC include solid propellant production plant, rocket motor static test facility, launch complexes for a variety of rockets, telemetry, telecommand, tracking, data acquisition and processing facilities, and other support services. Range safety restrictions on launch azimuth make it inefficient to launch into polar orbits from here. The facility was named Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC), on September 5, 2002, in memory of Prof Satish Dhawan, former Chairman of the ISRO.
Sriharikota is a barrier island in the Andhra Pradesh state of India. It is most famous as the home of India's only satellite launch center.
If you are planning to get to Sriharikota to watch a rocket launch and do not know anybody working at the Space Station, never mind. You could still watch the launch, although from outside the entrance of the Satish Dhawan Space Station. Stopping the jeep a little before the Space Station entrance will be the best thing to do. Alight from the jeep about half a kilometer before the Space Station and look straight in the direction of the Space Station entrance. The launch will be visible fairly well, and also audible more than fairly well.
The centre became operational 1971 when an RH-125 sounding rocket was launched.The first attempted launch of an orbital satellite, Rohini 1A aboard a Satellite Launch Vehicle, took place 10 Aug 1979, but due to a failure in thrust vectoring of the rocket's second stage, the satellite's orbit decayed 19 Aug 1979.
The SHAR facility now consists of two launch pads, with the second built recently.The second launch pad was used for launches beginning in 2005 and is a universal launch pad, accommodating all of the launch vehicles used by ISRO. The two launch pads will allow multiple launches in a single year, which was not possible earlier. India's lunar orbiter Chandrayaan 1 launched from the centre at 6:22 AM IST on 22 October 2008.