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How to become a Scientist at ISRO?

Do you fancy making your living by working on stuff related to stars, planets, satellites, black holes, neutron stars, galaxies, nebulas, supernovae? Do you dream of working on constructing and researching rockets and satellites, and peek through huge professional telescopes? Then you ought to know the profession you are seeking is being a Scientist at ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation).

ISRO is the government space organization that ranks in the Top 5 across the World and is among the only 6 space agencies in the world with full launch capabilities. ISRO has undertaken many space missions successfully that marked India’s name in a few nations that have their own independent space program. ISRO launches various satellites, and probes into space which deploy their capabilities for a range of tasks. The organization also researches and studies the Cosmos. 

ISRO hires Indian students as scientists through some rigorous procedures. This article will give you detailed information about how you can achieve your dream of becoming a Scientist at ISRO. 

History and Remarkable Achievements of ISRO

ISRO was formed from its preceding agency INCOSPAR in 1969 by the Government of India’s Department of Atomic energy which was further taken under the Department of Space. Its headquarters is in Bengaluru. The annual budget of ISRO is 1.9 Billion USD (7th highest in the world).

ISRO built India’s first satellite ‘Aryabhatta’ which was launched by the Soviet Union. The first-ever rocket built by ISRO SLV-3 launched India’s satellite ‘Rohini’. ISRO subsequently developed the GSLV and the PSLV.  In 2014, ISRO used India’s first indigenously developed Cryogenic Engine in GSLV. Later ISRO’s Chandrayaan 1 mission discovered water on the moon. In 2014 India’s Mars Orbiter was set into Orbit of Mars. ISRO holds the world record of launching 104 satellites into orbit using a single rocket. Recently ISRO also launched Chandrayaan 2 which set up the Orbiter moon probe in the moon’s orbit, the Lander module of Chandrayaan, however, had a harsh landing and lost contact.

Subdomains of ISRO 

ISRO has divided the Work Domain into several important Subdomains. Some Subdomains such as the Astrophysics department are responsible for the study and research on Cosmos. Other domains involve Aerospace, Propulsion systems i.e. engines, Rocket launching complex, Satellite and Artificial Intelligence, Sensors and probes, Communication and Remote sensing, Thermodynamics, etc. All the products with coordination get assembled at a station then the launch takes place.

Aerospace 

In this department, the aerodynamics of rockets and spacecraft are studied and the manufacturing of the exterior of rockets, satellites, and spacecraft is done. It also studies the movement of bodies passing through the air, which is required to reduce the drag due to the atmosphere of the earth. The suitable material for the exterior of the rockets is also researched.

Propulsion Systems 

The Cryogenic Engine, Fuel systems are manufactured and researched in this section. The suitable type of fuel is synthesized which is highly efficient and occupies minimum possible space. Generally solid compressed compounds or high-density liquid compounds are used. 

The Cryogenic Engines are developed indigenously by ISRO under this section. These systems are manufactured at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri.

Satellites and Artificial Intelligence 

Here, the satellites are assembled. Components like microprocessors and microcontrollers, sensors, probes, power production units, mechanics, communication systems, etc are manufactured, programmed, and assembled with the body of satellites.

The Semiconductor laboratory, Chandigarh, Space applications center, Ahmedabad, and UR Rao Satellite center are the laboratories which undertake this research. 

Electro-Optic Systems

The communication and some other functions of satellites require electronic and optic sensors. These are researched and manufactured in this section. The electronic systems of rockets are also studied here.

The Electro-optics Systems Laboratory, Bengaluru is responsible for this work.

Rocket Launching Complex

The Launch of the Rocket along with satellites and probes is carried out here. These places are meteorologically, and geographically suitable for carrying out the Launches. The Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota is the Rocket launch complex of ISRO.

Remote Sensing and Deep Space Networks

Deep space missions require a network that can communicate through huge distances, it includes telescopes and antennas. These systems track and monitor the satellites in the orbits of Earth as well as other planets such as mars. The Indian Deep space Network headquarters is in Bengaluru. 

Communication Systems

The communication systems for communication between Satellites, rockets, and the headquarters are managed by the ISRO Telemetry, tracking, and command network, Bengaluru. The ground operations, software development, and tracking are carried out in this section.

Department of Astrophysics 

Space research and studies take place in this department. The scientists research the space and forward the data to other departments for implementation. The Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology are institutes dedicated to Astrophysics Research.

What does a Scientist at ISRO actually do?

The Scientists at ISRO undertake research and engineering at their respective departments in ISRO. Computer scientists develop complex software on supercomputers. Physicists carry out research in various laboratories and complexes. Chemical scientists research fuel systems and thermodynamics. 

What is the minimum educational qualification required to be a Scientist at ISRO?

To apply as a scientist at ISRO, one needs to have a minimum educational qualification in Science. There are several ways to get into ISRO as a Scientist. 

Getting admission to IIST is the simplest way to join ISRO. The admission to IIST BTech and (BTech+MS/MTech) programs is done on the basis of JEE advance. Once a candidate gets into IIST, it is not much difficult to make it for ISRO since there is direct recruitment for IIST.

Another way to join ISRO is by pursuing a BTech/BE or any equivalent degree with a minimum CGPA of 6.84 (65%). After graduating one can apply for an exam conducted by ISRO for recruitment.

The postgraduates with MTech/ME or MS are also eligible for applying for ISRO. 

Eligibility 

Once you fulfill the educational requirements, you need to meet the eligibility criteria. The upper age limit for taking the ISRO recruitment exam is 35 years. ISRO accepts applications with ages not greater than 35 however persons with physical disability are given age relaxation. One must be a citizen of India. 

Exams to be cleared

For the graduates, one can get placed into ISRO through GATE. If one manages to get into IITs for master’s programs through GATE, there are direct placements in ISRO. 

ISRO releases notifications for recruitment every year with a number of vacancies in different streams. The written exam is conducted by ISRO followed by an interview. The cut-off scores vary every year as per the number of vacancies. One should be aware of the notification released by ISRO for recruitment. The recruitment notification is generally released in the month of March.

Perks of Being a Scientist at ISRO

Being a scientist at ISRO allows you to study more and more about space and the cosmos. You can contribute to the space technology of the nation and help uplift mankind. Moreover, the salary of scientists is decided by the matrix set by the government which is quite good, along with the advantages of every government job that are job security, pensions, regular increments, and promotions.

When should you start preparing?

When you start preparation at early stages, it always gives you an advantage. For becoming a Scientist, you must excel at Physics and Mathematics and of course Chemistry and Biology as per interest. Studying extra maths and physics in your free time will help a lot. If you start as early as the 10th class, it will definitely help you in further endeavors.

I hope this article was helpful & it gave you a perspective on how you can become a scientist at ISRO – Indian Space Research organization.

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