APPLE, India’s first Communication Satellite, ISRO, India’s Space Programme, Ariane Passenger PayLoad Experiment,

Let us celebrate APPLE - India’s first Communication Satellite Launched by ISRO

India's first communication satellite was put into orbit. That was a significant moment for India's space programme. The satellite was known as APPLE, or Ariane Passenger PayLoad Experiment.



35 years ago, on 19 June 1981, India launched its first communication satellite into space. It was a milestone in India’s Space Programme. The satellite was called Ariane Passenger PayLoad Experiment or APPLE in short. This satellite helped ISRO lay the foundation for indegenious development of operational communication satellites later on. These satellites soon grew into constellations of the INSAT and GSAT series. Because of these satellites later on the common Indian man could enable applications like Tele-education, Tele-medicine, Village Resource Centre (VRC), Disaster Management System (DMS) etc. Let us all checkout some important highlights of that day…

It took around two years to design and build the APPLE spacecraft. At that time there were very limited resources available. It was designed and built as a sandwich passenger-carrying Meteosat on top and CAT Module below. It was used in several communication experiments including relay of TV programs and radio networking. The launch mass of this satellite was 670 kg. 

Then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi dedicated APPLE to the nation on 13th August 1981. The Prime Minister handed over a smaller model of the spacecraft to the Minister of Communications and said that it was the “Dawn of India’s Satellite communication era.”

The Prime Minister addressed the nation on 15th August from the Red Fort. It was aired LIVE by the help of this communication satellite APPLE.

Indian Posts and Telegraphs Department released a commemorative stamp on the first year anniversary of the launching of APPLE on 19th June 1982.

Experimentation in the field of advanced communications technology was enabled due to the launch of this satellite. It has established expertise in designing and fabricating the launch and maintenance of such a satellite into the geo-stationary orbit.

For two consecutive years, APPLE was used to carry out extensive experiments.

It is a day for us to feel proud of our Indian scientists of ISRO. Can you find out other important projects carried out by ISRO?


It takes 8 minutes, 19 seconds for light to travel from the Sun to the Earth: In space, light travels at 300,000 kilometres (186,000 miles) per second.




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