Baby boomers who love to travel do not need to fork out the thousands of dollars needed to buy a timeshare just to travel to timeshare properties worldwide.
Why address the concerns of baby boomers and timeshare travel? Many boomers are not even aware of what is involved in purchasing a timeshare. Timeshares are not only very expensive but they are also very restrictive. Once you purchase a timeshare your obligation is not over. Most timeshare purchases require a maintenance fee that is to be paid either monthly or yearly. The price of the fee can change at any time due to unforseen circumstances such as bad weather or damage to the properties commonly owned. Perhaps the common ownership wants new furniture in all of the units. That cost will get passed along to the timeshare owners as well.
Timeshare purchases up front are very expensive ranging on average from $ 15,000 plus maintenance fees to $ 80,000 plus other expenses. Normally a downpayment is required and then monthly payments can be arranged or you will be asked to put the balance on a credit card. When you are ready to travel you will have options of traveling to the same property year after year for a designated number of years or you will be on a point system. If you are on a point system you will be able to travel to a wide variety of properties and you may even be able to choose the time of the year you want to travel.
What happens to a baby boomer and timeshare travel when the baby boomer can not travel for some reason? That property will sit empty without the boomer can find someone to rent it to or give it to to use for that year. That is money wasted that did not need to be wasted.
There are alternatives. One of the best I have seen is a timeshare travel club membership. This type of membership will allow you to travel to just about anywhere in the world to 5, 4, and 3 star resorts for a one time membership fee and then dearly discounted prices thereafter. Every baby boomer should weigh the facts about timeshares and travel club memberships before they purchase either one.
For more information on two of the leading travel membership clubs on the internet today you may want to visit the two links below.
Traveling for business and for pleasure regularly for more than 15 years now, I would have classified myself as a “clumsy” traveler — I was very unorganized and likely to forget important (if not critical!) items on my trips. I have wasted valuable time and money looking for and buying stuff that I already owned but forgot to pack. And I had a propensity to make the same packing mistakes more than once.
I remember a trip to visit a possible employer for a job interview. I was in a city I was unfamiliar with, and thought I packed everything that was needed. Dressing for the interview that morning with my nicest black suit, I realized that I hadn’t packed an appropriate pair of black dress socks. I figured that showing up with a black suit and gym socks would probably pre-empt any chances of getting the job, but I was also in a downtown area not close to any big box stores. The interview was at 9:00 a.m., and most of the city department stores didn’t open until 9:30 or 10:00. I was in a fix! If it wasn’t for a VERY kind store clerk that opened the door for me early, I would have really been left in an unwinnable situation. (By the way, no one at that company knew that I was wearing a pair of women’s dress socks that day, as that was the only pair the store had that would work.)
From that point forward, I vowed to never forget items on a trip, and I thought about my training in time and project management to come up with a very simple solution. I created a memo in my planner that was a standard pack list for business trips. Every time that I went on a trip, I would check my list as I packed for the trip to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything useful. It was also handy when I packed to go home to make sure I wasn’t forgettting anything in the hotel. And, over time, as I traveled, I kept adding items to the list that I thought would be useful, so the list has grown and evolved over time.
When I switched to the Palm and MS Outlooks platforms a few years ago, I built a standard memo in my memo pad, in the “Business” category, which now acts as my pack list, and I just carry my PDA around with me as I pack to make sure I have everything I need. I even created a few new “specialty” packing lists, including lists for personal trips/vacations, hiking/camping trips, trips to the beach, and even trips where we are taking the baby. These lists also have grown and evolved over time, and are much more inclusive than originally. Now, it is very rare that anything is forgotten.
I have actually posted many of these packing memos on my Web site (www.randalldean.com). You can go to the site, and click on the link for FREE PDA Memo Pad downloads. You’ll find several of the packing lists that I’ve mentioned, as well as a memo that details my daily routine for organizing my information overload and my weekly update process for maintaining the quality of my time management/organization system. I encourage you to visit the site today for these free downloads.
Now you can experience the greatly reduced stress level that accompanies well organized business or personal travel. Maybe you can actually even enjoy your trips now, without the stress and inconvenience of forgotten items.
Since I moved to Arizona from South Africa 2.5 years ago, I have been asked very many times: “just how long does it take to travel from Phoenix to Cape Town?”. Well, it does take some time – 20 hours if you fly via London. Take my word for it though, its worth every minute of the journey for what you will see, eat and experience once you get there.
Since you may feel that I am a little biased (this is my homeland we are talking about here), I have compiled a short-list of 10 very good, very “Google-able” reasons to make the journey, and put a visit to the incredible South Africa as number 1 on your “bucket list”.
Reason 1: As a “rainbow nation” that has embraced its eclectic mix of Africans and immigrants, South Africa is extremely diverse and offers a unique mix of culture, wildlife, and beautiful landscape. It is one of the more developed countries in Africa, yet it passionately retains a traditional African flavor in its food, music and vibrant culture despite the modern and Western influences. This, coupled with the wild African bush, and an abundance of untamed wildlife; makes South Africa and its people truly special.
Reason 2: South Africans are extremely friendly, and proud of their nation and how far it has come in its struggle to freedom over the years. We are very hospitable, and love to talk about our history and variety of cultures. Just ask us!
Reason 3: Bobotie, Amarula Cream, Pap en Sous, and Koeksisters. Good food is high on the list of priorities in South Africa, and a very important part of the social culture. Bobotie is often named as the national dish, but this demonstrates how integrated the cultures have become given that this is in fact a Malay dish (more than a traditional African one). There are many delicious, exotic and interesting foods to try while you are there, but make sure these are also on your list. P.S. The sushi in coastal Cape Town is outstanding too!
Reason 4: Kruger National Park in South Africa is one of the absolute best places in the world for viewing African wildlife. It is one of the biggest in Africa at 7,523 sq miles (about the size of New Jersey) and has an astonishing variety of species including 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 520 birds and 147 mammals, including the famous ‘big 5’ – the lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros.
Heed this warning – watching wildlife is highly addictive! I can’t even count on my hands and feet how many safaris I have been on, and I still never get tired of watching a herd of elephants grazing, or hippos wallowing, or feeling the excitement of witnessing a lioness or a leopard stalking its prey, right to the moment of the kill as it happens.
Reason 5: South Africa has a fantastic climate, most especially in Spring and Fall when the weather is temperate. Remember that because its in the Southern Hemisphere, its seasons are opposite to the US. So just as Arizonans are coming out of the blazing hot summer in September, its cool spring with some rainfall in Cape Town (imagine how wonderful that would be!)
Reason 6: This is the home of Nelson Mandela – a man who suffered and sacrificed greatly for his people and then led South Africa into a peaceful democracy. He is the man who said: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” I love that! Some of the most moving sites relive the historical change from the old ways to the new.
Reason 7: Cape Town is an extraordinary city, but the provincial countryside also produces some of the best wines in the world. If you like that sort of thing, there are colonial-style vineyards aplenty, and even if you aren’t a lover of wines – the wine regions themselves are both beautiful and rich with the history of early modern South Africa.
Reason 8: South Africa has 8 World Heritage sites, including the largest, oldest and most deeply eroded meteor crater found on Earth, dating back more than 2 billion years and measuring 120 miles in diameter.
Reason 9: There is no language barrier for American visitors. Yes, there are 11 official spoken languages in South Africa, but English is one of them and most everyone speaks it.
Reason 10: The South African Rand is weak compared to the US Dollar – currently at 10:1. Whilst this is bad for South Africans visiting the US, its wonderful for Americans visiting South Africa as it gives you so much more spending power! Trust me, you will definitely want to pack light so that you have plenty of space in your bag for all the memorabilia and gifts you will want to buy.
There are so many more reasons to visit, but hopefully these 10 will encourage you to seriously consider making the trip.
China is a land of ancient wonders. It's so different from the norm of western travelers that a first visit there can be a bit intimidating. Today, we will become acquainted with some basic traveler information on China. We'll talk about the time of year to go, when to avoid China and some points of interest.
Times to Go
China can get pretty cold in the winter. For instance, Temperatures in Beijing are average highs of 40F and lows of 14F. In Hong Kong, the temperatures are more bearable – 58 F – 75 F. The summers can get a little warm for some, but it's the best time of the year to visit China. Temperatures can reach 90 F in Beijing and Hong Kong.
When To Avoid China
The worst month to travel in China is February. In early to mid-February, the Chinese hold their Spring Festival – we also know it as Chinese New Year. February is when most Chinese either take a vacation or limit work time. Therefore, the country is crowded with travelers and businesses are closed or operating during limited hours.
As with many countries, festivals are held throughout the year at various locations within China. We already talked about the Spring Festival, which is something to experience if you do not mind being overcrowded.
The Harbin's Ice Festival is held in Zhaolin Park. It begins in the beginning of January and runs through the end of February. This ice festival is a spectacle that features huge ice sculptures of legendary figures and animals. It's held at this time of the year, because the temperatures a freezing. The average temperature will be around 20 F. If you like the cold, or can stand it, this is one festival to check out.
If you are interested in visiting the Birthplace of Confucius, check out Qufu. Confucius' birthday, which falls on September 8, is a celebrated event. It's also home to many Confucius points of interest, such as the Confucius Temple.
China is full of great travel points. Do not try to tackle them all in one visit. Pick an area and savor the moments while you are there. Beijing is in the north and Hong Kong is in the south.
India is a land of amazing treasure troves. It is a world famous destination for memorable vacations that will linger into your heart and mind for rest of your life. India has distinct topographical features like plains, verdant valleys, barren desert, hills which makes it a picture perfect land.
Hills stations in India are the most sought after tourist destinations for both Indian and foreign tourists. There are several hill stations in India which are located amidst the Himalayan mountain ranges. Due to their purchase to Himalayas they have a pleasant atmosphere through out the entire summer season. Some of the popular hill stations of northern India are Srinagar, Gulmarg, Shimla, Dehradun, Nainital, Manali etc. Even there are some more popular hill stations which are located in southern part of our country such as Kodaikanal, Ooty, Coorg etc.
Beside these popular hill stations, India is also blessed with some more hill stations which are still unexplored but can be an ideal destination for a great weekend or honeymoon vacations. Such hill stations are available in each and every region of India like in northern India, there are Chopta, Kausani etc, Kalimpong in eastern India, Chikaldhara hill station in western region and last but the not the least in southern India there are Anantgiri hills and Yercaud hill stations.
Unexplored Hill Stations:
Chopta Hill Station: Chopta is a picturesque hill station located on the Gopeshwar-Ukhimath Road about 40 kms. from Gopeshwar in the Garhwal region. It is perched at an altitude of about 2,900 m above sea level. This tiny hill station is enriched with some beautiful tourist attractions such as Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Tungnath Shiv Temple, Gopeshwar, Kanchula Korak Musk deer sanctuary, Ukhimath etc. This beautiful place is decorated with alpine vegetation, orchids, and many high altitude vegetation.
Kausani Hill Station: Kausani is a hill station of awesome view, located just 53 km north of Almora in Kumaon region of Uttaranchal state. It is only 14hours drive from Delhi by road. From Kausani, one can have the privileged to view the snowy Himalayas and the high snow-capped mountain peaks of Nanda Devi and Trishul. Plan your trip to Kausani, from April to June, as it is the best time to visit Kausani. At this time of the year, temperature ranges from 11c to 26c.
Kalimpong Hill Station: Kalimpong is a serene hill station located in the northern fringe of West Bengal at an altitude of 1250m. It is a place of spectacular scenery, famous mostly for its monasteries, churches, libraries for study of Tibetan and Himalayan languages and culture. Some of the favorite spots of tourists in Kalimpong are Durpin Dara, Kalibari, St, Theresa Church, Mangaldham, Flower nursery producing orchids and gladiolis. This place is linked to Darjeeling, Siliguri and Gangtok by road. Even the Bagdogra airport is 80kms from here. You can visit this place any time in summer.
Chikaldhara Hill Station: Chikaldhara is the only hill station and coffee growing area in entity Vidharba region. It is located at a height of 1,118m in Maharashtra. This place is famous as a summer resort and has wonderful tourists hotspots like Wan and Chikaldhara Sanctuary, Melghat Tiger Reserve, Gavilgadh Fort, Bhimkund, Devi mandir, Shakkar lake and three points previously Sunset point, Panchbol point, Hariken point etc.
Anantgiri Hill Station: Anantagiri is a splendid hill station located just 40km from Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. It is situated atop of the Elysian Tirumala Hills approximately 17 km from Araku valley. Unmatched beauty of this place attracts loads of tourists to some of its awesome tourist attractions such as Bheemunipatnam, Ramakrishna and Rishikonda Beach, Sri Venkateswara Konda, Borra Caves, Vuda Park and Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Simhachalam Temple and Dolphin's Nose. This hill station is a perfect site for honeymoon due to its cool and pleasant environment through out the year.
Yercaud Hill Station: Yercaud is another less explored hill resort of southern India. It is located at an altitude of 1, 515m in Shevaroy hills in Tamil Nadu. The climate of Yercaud is very cool, in contrast to the other nearby regions. Temperature here never rises above 30c. It is an ideal place for trekking in forested slopes and boating at Yercaud and Small lake. Yercaud is famous for its vast coffee plantations. It is dotted with some breathtaking tourists spots such as Lady's Seat, Killiyur Falls, The Grange, The Servarayan Temple and Anna Park. Yercaud is well connected to Coimbatire, Bangalore, Salem by road. Tiruchirapalli has the airport which is very close to Yercaud.
If a holiday makes you feel at home then it is not worth it! A vacation in India thus offers the most exciting, vibrant, diverse and fascinating experiences that recreate the magic of wonderland. Dubbed as the world’s most multi-dimensional country, India is indeed an enigma that is captivating and mystical in more ways than one.
The vast expanse of the country offers many interesting locations for a vacation. From the sand-washed beaches and snow clad mountains to tranquil temples and thrilling forest reserves, India has it all. The hilly greens of Himachal and the scintillating waters from the Ganges offer adventure sport opportunities for those who love to keep the adrenalin gushing.
To experience India and unravel its mystique travellers need to understand the history and cultural legacy of the country. Each state in India has a character of its own that can be traced back to milestones in history. From the glorious Goa that owes its architecture and culture to the Portuguese invasion to Rajasthan that have monuments as witness to the Mughal rule, the diversity is indeed spell binding and enriching.
A vacation in India also promises to be a shopper’s delight. The country is bestowed with artisans and craftsmen like nowhere else in the world. The variety of work and artistic talent remains unparalleled. The work of these artisans is a reflection of its glorious past.
Apart from the rich and varied culture, the country boasts of some very exotic holiday destinations and Lakshadweep is one of them. For travellers who love maritime explorations and water sports Lakshadweep on the west coast makes for an exciting and delightful location. The unspoiled backwaters of Kerala too offer some exotic experiences in the house boats.
There is also the option of taking luxury train travel across the heartland of Rajasthan. Specialised gourmet tours across the finest restaurants in the country are also undertaken to make interested travellers aware about the rich Indian cuisine.
Furthermore, one can go completely off the beaten track by opting for adventurous trekking options in the beautiful highland desserts of Ladakh. There are also India’s best kept secrets in the North-east with jungle-clad hills, fascinating tribal culture, green hills, rich wildlife and ancient monasteries.
Yoga and spiritualism also add to India’s mystique. Travellers across the world visit India to learn the art of Yoga and practice yogic healing. There are centres for yoga across the country and keen learners can enrol in courses that suit them. Further, India is also the hub of philosophy, meditation and learning and Varansai is its nerve centre. People visit Varanasi for self-actualisation through religious and spiritual means. The land of ‘sadhus’ as India is dubbed to be is best witnessed on the banks of the holy river Ganges in Varansai.
India is a neat blend of sacred and modern beliefs. So, there is enough for one to enjoy experience, celebrate and fascinate.
Retreat your senses to the enchanting splendour of India and enjoy the Indian vacation. For a better experience, partner with a destination management company and make your journey to the heartland of India exceptionally enjoyable and enlightening.
Over the past year, this growth has reflected in all segments of tourism. The sluggish economy and poor sentiments did not have any adverse impact on the Indian outbound tourism market. India is one of the fastest-growing outbound travel markets. Despite drastic fluctuations in rupee value recently, numbers of tourist’s departures from India did not take a hit. The country is leading the outbound market with only China ahead in the race.
India offers exponential growth opportunities in outbound travel with the population of over 1 billion and over 7% hike in GDP every year.Indians are travelling abroad for more than one more reasons, ranging from meeting relatives, for international sports matches, shopping, or pure leisure. Among the leading contributors of increasing outbound travel are Official and Personal Travel for business, leisure/ holiday/, and MICE tourism.
The tourism boards of other countries are gearing up to meet this challenge of increasing Indian travellers. Several countries have set up their offices in India, while some others are optimally using their embassies to first conduct a few pilot tests before taking the final call.
While VFR trips, business travel and going on a holiday top outbound volume, people are preferring niche products too such as luxury travels, sports tourism, honeymoon packages, MICE, cruises, etc.
Thailand, Singapore, United States, and Malaysia are some of the most preferred tourist destinations for Indian travellers. Indian tourists have now started exploring new destinations as well. Among the emerging countries, Sri Lanka, China and Nepal are the favourite destinations of Indian tourists. Japan aims to focus on tripling the tourists’ number from 2013 to 2020. Places such as Indonesia, Mauritius, Philippines, and Egypt are also experiencing a huge hike in Indian tourists. Travel agents are using enhanced promotions drives to further aid the increase in outbound departures.
The country’s growth in outbound tourism can be attributed to the following reasons:
• Decrease in international airfare
• Affordable travel packages
• Increasing disposable income
• Rise of low cost carriers (LCCs)
The internet and its proliferation in the travel industry has transformed the way Indians travel now. The huge information data bank available on the internet has generated a good deal of confidence in travellers to go ahead and travel. Traditional travel agents are still around but their role is more of certifying a deal now than to actually plan it.
Bollywood, the Indian film industry, has generated a humungous wave of interest among global travellers. It has brought India on a global map when it comes to travel and tourism. As per one estimate, over 13 million Indian population watch Bollywood movies every day. So, it can be termed as one of the strongest influences on Indian travellers.
India’s travel sector is poised to become the third-largest market by the year 2019 and the largest market by the year 2029. Many abundant professional opportunities are expected to come up in the industry every year. It is the most exciting phase that the industry is going through.
Travel offers some great professional highs! If you want to travel the world, get ready for it. The best part is, you can earn while you travel. Which other profession offers you the luxury of travelling and getting paid for it. The travel industry has shown a huge appetite for growth. This growth demands a lot of trained manpower, which is a concern as of now. The industry never goes out of demand for aspiring young professionals. This makes it essential for students to equip themselves with the business of tourism by merging managing skills with that of tourism. However, before you venture out, it is best to arm yourself with a professional diploma in Travel & Tourism Courses Management.
Many academies offer diverse courses, among which Travel Tourism Management is one of the prominent courses. Many professional institutes are there in Delhi that teach you the best of trade practices. Apart from the course content, they also teach aspiring youngsters to groom themselves.
There are many distant learning courses that offer deep knowledge of theories, business models and practices that consist of tourism management. Such courses prepare individual for a bright profession in the leisure and tourism industry. The Travel Management institutes will prepare you for a profession in this field.
You can work in the Government Department of Tourism, or in the district or state Tourism branches. After your degree, you can also join the private sector or opt for the public sector enterprise. Whatever you choose, the travel and tourism industry will never be out of opportunities for your travel and career ambitions.
A car drive may enliven you physically, but a drive on a two wheeler enlivens you spiritually. At least, that’s what motor biking enthusiasts have to say. It is fine that you are a biking enthusiast, but have you gone out on your two-wheeled friend to explore some of the choicest destinations across India. If you are yet to take the plunge; then, it is the high time that you do so. The country boasts of plenty of road routes which you will love adventuring, as a passionate biker.
1. Highway connecting Manali and Leh
The snowy glory of the highway that is almost four hundred and seventy-nine kilometers long is worth looking forward to. If you are not that confident about using your personal vehicle, you can enjoy the fascinatingly picturesque road trip on bikes for rent in Bangalore.
2. The route leading to Gokarna
If you are keen on exploring a nearby location on bikes for rent in Bangalore; then, you have reasons to head towards Gokarna. The latter happens to be an ideal destination for relaxation. Not only that, cruising along the road that connects Bangalore with Gokarna makes for an amazing experience, as the connective stretch is ideal for biking.
3. Route connecting Pollachy to Chalakudy
While Pollachy is located in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu, the other finds its presence in Kerala. The connective route is marked by the presence of tropical rainforests and cloud forests. If you happen to be a lover of wildlife, then, you can also halt at the tiger reserve at Anaimalai that falls on the way.
4. The road connecting Visakhapatnam to the valley of Araku
The pristine beauty of the linking stretch which is almost 116 kilometers long will leave you mesmerised. The road with its curly twists, hilly serenity and gentle elevation sets the tone for an amazing ride in your chosen motorbike. If you belong to the southern part of the country, then, you should not miss out on the trip that connects Visakhapatnam to the valley of Araku.
5. The expressway connecting Mumbai and Pune
All along the trip through the expressway that is almost ninety-three kilometers long, you will enjoy the company of a surrounding that is poignantly picturesque. If you are under stress, strain and tension, then, you will find comfort in the lusciousness of the green foliage that lies on the way.
6. Trip to Gangtok and Darjeeling via Shiliguri
Sikkim as well as, West Bengal may not be that popular amongst the bikers, but once you make your way through the hilly greenery, you will see how the destinations are perfect and spectacular for the lovers of nature and adventure.
7. Head towards Pondicherry from Chennai
For that, you have to trudge along the “East Coast” stretch that connects both the destinations. The stretch that extends over one hundred and sixty kilometers offers perfect conditions for the cruiser biking.
8. National Highway to Konark
If you ever visit Puri, the religious destination that lies in the state of Orrisa; then, don’t miss out on the prospect of visiting Konark through the National Highway 203. You will enjoy being on beautiful roads in the company of misty breeze.
9. Trip to the forest at Bandipur
The latter happens to be one of the most amazing trips to enjoy and avail in South India. You can make your way through the charming highway that is almost two hundred and thirty-five kilometers in length.
10. Make your way through the desert sand
You can bid goodbye to the mundane mediocrity of the day-to-day life if you head towards the Khuri sand dunes located in the Thar Desert. You have to ride through the stretch connecting Barmer and Jaisalmer to make your presence felt amidst the dotted dunes of the desert sand.
Make up Your Mind
Now that you are aware of the options and avenues, you will have little or no problem in making up your mind, and rushing headlong towards one of these destinations, in the company of your two wheeler friend.
APRIL 19, 1975 was a red letter day in the history of India’s space program. It was on this day that the Indian Satellite Aryabhatta was successfully launched into the space. This diamond shaped, 26 faced, blue and violet space craft weighing 360kg, was shot into a near circular orbit at an inclination of 510 to the equator, from a Soviet cosmodrome near Moscow. Designed and developed by Indian Scientists and Engineers at its Space Research Centre, Bangalore, with 90% Indian made components this first satellite is named after the fifth century Indian mathematician and astronomer Aryabhatta. Its aim is to explore the atmosphere of the outer space. Monitored by the SHAR centre, Sriharikota, it transmits important information which is received by three tracking stations – located in Russia, France and India. (Shriharikotta)
Then came Bhaskara, the second Indian satellite. It was launched on June 7, 1979, also from Russia. This 44-kg experimental satellite, named Bhaskara – I after another ancient Indian mathematician, is meant for earth observations. Carrying radiometers, infra red TV cameras, it transmit data about hydrology, forestry, oceanography and meteorology. Again on November 20, 1981 bhaskara – II an improved version of Bhaskara – I was launched. With two TV cameras and 3 frequency microwave radiometer system, it has a wider scanning range.
But it is the Rohini Satellite (RSI) that was first launched from India. It was put into orbit by the indigenously made Satellite Launch Vehicle SLV-3 on July 18, 1980. this 4 – stage solid propellant rocket was designed and developed by the Indian scientists and engineers of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. It also placed another satellite of 38 kg – Rohini (RSDI) into orbit, with the fundamental objective of evaluating the vertical performance for future programs. The launching was successful, but the satellite’s orbital life ended abruptly in 9 days instead of 90days as planned. Again another 41.5kg. Rohini – 2 (RSD 2) was put into Low – Earth – Orbit on April 17, 1983, with the help of 23 meter SLV – 3 weighing 17 tons, also built by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. The successful launching of RSD 2 completed the planned development of its SLV – 3 series and set the stage for Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicles (ASLV’S), capable of hurling into space, satellites weighing 150kg and PSLV’S capable of placing satellites in geo-synchronous orbit.
The Indian Space Application Centre (ISAC) Ahmedabad, developed a 657.5kg 3 axis, stabilized geo-station-ary satellite called APPLE. This was launched on June 19, 1981, from Kourou’s in French Guyana, by the European Space Agency’s Arian rocket, thus demonstrating again that India can accomplish great technological feats and scientific marvels. APPLE was India’s first 3-axis stabilized geo-stationary communication satellite and India is the fifth nation to obtain the distinction of developing such a satellite. USA, USSR, France and Canada alone had this distinction earlier. Though the tracking stations at Sriharikota, Ahmedabad, Fuji and Kourou, started receiving information about the altitude, temperature, etc., it is on 27th June, 8 days after its take off that the Indian scientists could successfully complete all the maneuvers to put the APPLE on its planned course. Tense moments ended and India won the applause.
But APPLE is only a take off point of a series for INSAT satellite to be launched for the purpose of telecommunication, TV and meteorological net work.
The program received a set back when its first multipurpose satellite INSAT – IA failed, 5 months after its launch on April 10, 1982. Built for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) by the Ford Aerospace of USA and launched by NASA it was, to be the first step towards the implementation of ‘Operation Space System’ for identifying social economic objectives and national requirements, combining the services of telecommunication, meteorology, TV relay and Radio broadcasting. The satellite which journeyed through 37,000km in space passing over Indonesia upset the telecommunication, TV and Radio net work programs.
Under STEP ( Satellite Telecommunication Experiment Project ), ISRO has conducted experiments in remote area communications, using transportable terminals, radio net working integration of satellite circuits, in territorial net work and multiple audio – video, transmission.
The indigenous IRS-IA, which was launched by Vostok vehicle on March 17, 1988 form USSR has a variety of uses to assess the amount of mulberry growth, or the growth of cotton, rice, groundnut and wheat. It would be possible to estimate the output well in advance, before the harvest is made.
And now, the INSAT – D series of satellites are to be launched with its own technology. With this India has joined the select band of countries that have lanunched satellites. On April 3,1989, the Soviet Rocket Souyuz zoomed into the space. It was significant to India because, on its crew was an Indian – Squadron Leader Rakhesh Sharma. And now we can proudly say, we too have a Neil Armstrong amongst us.
Thus the primary aim of Indian space program is the application of space science and technology to develop mass communication and education programs and conduct survey of natural resources through the launching of satellites, with maximum self reliance.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is responsible for planning, execution and management of Space Research. The major establishments it has are: The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) at Thiruvanathapuram; the ISRO satellite centre at Bangalore; the SHAR launching centre at Sriharikota and the Space Application Centre (SAC) at Ahmedabad. While VSSC is the main research and development centre, SHAR is its Launching Station.