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Years Ago Today: India's first satellite Aryabhata was launched



1975: India's first satellite Aryabhata was launched

The satellite was named after Indian mathematician and astronomer Aryabhata

It was launched from Kapustin Yar in the then Soviet Union

The Aryabhata completed one revolution around the earth every 96.46 minutes

The Indian Space Research Programme began in 1962. In 1972, Space Commission was established. Aryabhata became India's first satellite, named after the 5th-century Indian Mathematician, was successfully launched into a near earth orbit on 19th April 1975, from Kapustin Yar cosmodrome in the Soviet Union using a cosmos-3M launch vehicle. The launch came from an agreement between India and Soviet Union signed in 1972. It allowed USSR to use Indian ports for tracking ships and in return for launching Indian satellite. The historic event was celebrated by Reserve Bank of India and the satellite's image appeared on the 2 Rupee note between 1976 and 1997. Aryabhata re-entered earth's atmosphere after 17 years on 11th February 1992.

1987: Maria Sharapova was born

She is a Russian professional tennis player

She has been ranked world's No. 1 in singles by WTA on five separate occasions

She also earned a silver for Russia at the 2012 London Olympics .

Maria Sharapova was born on 19th April. She is a Russian professional tennis player and has been ranked world's No. 1 in singles by WTA on five occasions. She is the only Russian and one of the ten women to hold a Career Grand Slam. In 2012, at Summer Olympics in London, she won the silver medal in the singles category. She has featured in several modelling assignments and also appeared in many advertisements for Nike, Prince and Canon.

1882: Charles Darwin Dies

He was an English geologist, naturalist and biologist

He is mostly known for his contributions to the science of evolution

He is buried in Westminister Abbey next to Issac Newton and John Herschel

He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors and, in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process of what he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding. Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book "On the Origin of Species", overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species. By the 1870s, the scientific community and a majority of the educated public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favoured competing for explanations and it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life.