Aryabhata, the first satellite built by India, was launched on this day April 19, in the year 1975. Aryabhata was built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to conduct experiments in X-ray astronomy, aeronomics, and solar physics. The spacecraft was a 26-sided polygon with a diametre of 1.4 metre. Costing a little over ₹3 crore, the 360-kg satellite stopped transmitting data five days after launch due to power failure, but spent 17 years in Earth’s orbit.
As on April 19, 1971, the USSR launched Salyut-1, the first-ever space station to mark a decade of launching the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin.