The first rocket was launched from Thumpa, Thiruvananthapuram on November 21, 1963 in gratitude for India’s space program.
Payload on a bicycle, a rocket in an old jeep, also donated by the US, a crowd of scientists from the US, Russia and France marching to the launch pad to help launch … This is the story of India’s first rocket launch. Nowhere in the world has such a rocket been launched before or since.
The Church of Mary Magdalene and the nearby Bishop’s House became the rocket launching site. The nearest primary school building was first the lounge office and later the technical library. The rocket was mounted in front of the altar. The old barn became a space lab.
Bishop House Launch Center became the office of the Director. D Eshwardas integrated the rocket. Security was later provided by President APJ Abdul Kalam. The Thumpa rocket station is located close to the Magnetic equator.
The American-made Nike Apache took to the skies on November 21, 1963, from the launch pad adjacent to the Thumpa Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (Tales). The first rocket launch from India, which until then had not even had a good chance to see a picture of the rocket.