On 21 November 1963, the first rocket took off from Thumba, a fishing hamlet near Thiruvananthapuram, announcing the birth of India's space programme. The rocket, the payload, the radar, the computer, the helicopter - all that was required for the launch - came from outside the country. Fifty years later, on 5 November 2013, when ISRO launched its Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, all of it had been indigenously manufactured. Ten months after the launch, on 24 September 2014, India became the first country in the world to put a satellite around the Red Planet in the very first attempt.
From Fishing Hamlet to Red Planet tracks this stupendous journey through articles, interviews and reminiscences with contributions from intellectual giants like Dr Vikram Sarabhai, Satish Dhawan, M.S. Swaminathan, Jacques Blamont, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, U.R. Rao and Dr K. Kasturirangan, among others, this is the story of India's space journey from its modest beginnings to its rendezvous with Mars.