Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) is the lead Centre of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under the Department of Space (DOS), Government of India. The Centre is named in fond memory of Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, the great visionary and the father of Indian Space Programme. VSSC pioneers in rocket research and launch vehicle projects of ISRO. The Centre also pursues research and development activities in associated areas like propellants, solid propulsion technology, aerodynamics, aero structural and aero thermal fields, avionics, polymers and composites, guidance, control & simulation, computer and information, mechanical engineering, aerospace mechanisms, vehicle integration and testing, space ordnance, chemicals and materials. Systems reliability and quality assurance of all aspects of engineering and operations are studied and evaluated to the levels of perfection required in each field. Programme planning and evaluation, technology transfer and industrial coordination, indigenisation, human resources development, safety and personnel and general administration groups support the Centre for all its activities.
The Space Physics Laboratory (SPL) at VSSC carries out research and studies in atmospheric science and other related space science activities. Ammonium Perchlorate Experimental Plant (APEP) at Aluva in Kerala and the ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU) at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala also form part of VSSC.
The ongoing programmes at VSSC include launch vehicle projects like Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), Rohini Sounding Rockets and Space-capsule Recovery Experiments. The next generation launcher GSLV MkIII (also known as LVM3) has successfully undergone an experimental flight with passive cryo stage and proved the atmospheric regime. LVM3 flight with an active cryo stage, Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) and Air Breathing Propulsion for Advanced Reusable Launch Vehicle, Human Spaceflight Project etc are on the anvil.