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If space agencies are ranked, where will ISRO stand?



Ayush Jain, Space Fanatic, Daydreamer

I am going to answer your question based on various parameters. First of all we do not have any experience in the department of manned spacecrafts and believe me, its a big deal.

First of all lets take into account the launch vehicle of various space agencies as it is the basic need to launch anything into space . Lets rank them based on the criteria of payload to LEO ( Low Earth Orbit) :



  1. NASA :

( I am also taking into account Spacex because its a american company which works mainly for the US govt. and has also received huge funds from them )

The Delta family :

Owned by the United Launch Alliance , delta rocket family has been in service since 1960 and has over 300 launches under its belt.

The two active systems are :

The Delta II and the Delta IV

译文来源:三泰虎   http://www.5763157.com/47174.html  译者:Joyceliu

  1. 美国国家航空航天局(NASA):







Payload Capacities (LEO) :

Delta II : 2700 - 6100 Kgs

Delta IV: 9420-20,790 Kgs


德尔塔II: 2700 - 6100公斤

德尔塔IV: 9420-20,790公斤

Next is the Atlas family of rockets:

It too is operate by the ULA. It has close to 500 launches under its belt and the Atlas V launch vehicle is still in use .This is the rocket which launched the soon to arrive at Pluto the New Horizons probe back in 2005.




Payload Capacity (LEO) : 9800- 18,810 Kgs

Now we have the spacex launch vehicle the falcon 9 v1.1 which is fairly new but is being used to launch the Cargo Resupply Vehicle i.e. Dragon to the ISS.

到达近地球轨道的?#34892;?#36733;荷: 9800- 18,810公斤



Payload Capacity ( LEO) : 13,150 Kgs

Spacex also has a heavier version of the Falcon 9 under development christened as Falcon heavy which is expected to have a payload capacity (LEO) 53,000Kgs.

到达近地球轨道的?#34892;?#36733;荷: 13,150公斤





Antares is an expendable launch system developed by Orbital Sciences Corporation (now Orbital ATK) to launch the Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station as part of NASA's COTS and CRS programs.

Payload Capacity(LEO): 6100 Kgs.


到达近地球轨道的?#34892;?#36733;荷: 6100公斤。

Under Development:

The Space Launch System (SLS):

It is an American Space Shuttle-derived heavy expendable launch vehicle being designed by NASA. It follows the cancellation of the Constellation program, and is to replace the retired Space Shuttle.

It will be developed in stages. The block I will have the capacity to lift a payload of 70 tonnes to the LEO, whereas the Block II would be able to lift 130 tonnes.






The Vulcan is a rocket launch vehicle that is currently under development by the United Launch Alliance. It will feature reusable rocket engines which will detach from the lower stage and descend back to earth and will be recovered with the help of a helicopter.

In 2015, ULA stated its goal was to sell a "barebones Vulcan" for half the price of a basic Atlas V rocket.

There are many more rockets or rocket families which are active/under development but these are the major one's .





Note :

  1. NASA operated the heaviest and most powerful rocket ever , the Saturn V which took us to the moon . It had the power to carry a 118,000Kg payload to the LEO.
  2. It also operated the first reusable launch vehicle in history of spaceflight, the space shuttle. Payload Capacity to LEO : 24,400 Kg


  1. 美国宇航局发射了?#39134;?#26368;重、最?#30475;?#30340;火箭—?#21015;荲,将我们送上了月球。它有能力携带11.8万公斤的?#34892;?#36733;荷到近地球轨道。
  2. 它还发射了航天?#39134;?#31532;一个可重复使用的运载火箭——航天飞机。到达近地球轨道的?#34892;?#36733;荷能力:24,400公斤

Next in line has to be the Russian Space agency formerly the Soviat Union.



It has a huge history and hold a lot of FIRSTS in the history of space flight.

Its main workhorse is the Soyuz Rocket family which has been in service for quite a huge amount of time. The Soyuz is the most frequently launched rocket in the world

  1. 俄罗斯宇航局:



Soyuz FG :



Payload to the LEO : 7100 Kg

This rocket is used to launch astronauts to the ISS.






Proton is an expendable launch system used for both commercial and Russian government space launches. The first Proton rocket was launched in 1965. Modern versions of the launch system are still in use as of 2015, making it one of the most successful heavy boosters in the history of spaceflight. All Protons are built at the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center plant in Moscow, transported to the Baikonur Cosmodrome.


Payload Capacity (LEO): 20.7 tonnes

Proton was used to launch the salyut space stations, the cored module of the MIR space station and the Zarya and Zvezda modules( The Russian Segments) of the ISS.

到达近地球轨道的?#34892;?#36733;荷: 20.7吨


The Angara rocket family is expected to replace the soyuz.

It has the capacity to launch a payload up to 21000 Kg to LEO.

Note :

  1. They built the most powerful rocket ever, Energiya. It was cancelled while under development.
  2. The N-1 rocket was the soviet reply to the Saturn V but it suffered some catastrophic failures .
  3. The russians also created a counter part to the Space Shuttle know as Buran but it also was cancelled after first few developmental flights due to the dissolution of the soviet union.




  1. 他们建造了有史以来最?#30475;?#30340;火箭,能源号运载火箭。但在研发阶段被取消了。
  2. N-1火箭是苏联对?#21015;?#20116;号的回应,但它也遭遇了一些灾?#30740;?#30340;失败。


  1. ESA ( European Space Agency )

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation of 20 member states.

Its Ariane rocket family is responsible for more than 70 % of the international contract based launches.

  1. ?#20998;?#33322;天局




Ariane 5 has had a 100% success rate in the last 10 years.

Payload Capacity (LEO) : 16,000-21,000 Kg.


到达近地球轨道的?#34892;?#36733;荷: 16,000-21,000 Kg。




Vega (Advanced Generation European Carrier Rocket) is an expendable launch system in use by Arianespace jointly developed by the Italian Space Agency and the European Space Agency.

It is equipped with three solid rocket stages.

Payload Capacity (LEO): 2500 KGs

Note :

Most of the Indian communication satellites which weigh more than 2000 Kgs and have to placed in the GTO are launched atop the Ariane 5 rocket .



到达近地球轨道的?#34892;?#36733;荷: 2500公斤



  1. CNSA (Chinese National Space Administration ):

Chinese space agency has the Long March family of rockets.

  1. 中国国家航天局:



The most powerful one ( currently active ) has the power to loft around 12,000 kg to the LEO.


  1. JAXA ( The japanese space agency )

The H- IIA is the active japanese rocket which superseded the H -II rocket. It has a success rate of 95 % till date.

  1. 日本宇宙航空研究开发机构

H- IIA是日本现役火箭,它取代了H- ii火箭。到目前为止,它的发射成功率为95%。


Payload Capacity ( LEO) : 10,000 - 15,000 Kg

到达近地球轨道的?#34892;?#36733;荷: 10000 - 15000千克

  1. ISRO ( Indian Space Research Organisation )

Isro currently has only one vehicle which is completely active :

PSLV ( Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle)

It has launched 71 spacecrafts into various orbits which include some notable payloads such as the Mars Orbiter Mission and the Chandrayaan mission.






Payload capacity (LEO) : 3250 Kg

Its a very reliable launch vehicle and in 2008 launched 10 satellites in one go.

到达近地球轨道的?#34892;?#36733;荷: 3250千克


Under Development :

GSLV ( Mk I & II) :

These have a cryogenic upper stage. Mark I had a russian cryo stage whereas the Mark II version has an indigenously built cryo engine.

The Mk II has had only a single successful flight that was last year ,

Gslv D5.


地球同步卫星运载火箭 (Mk I & II):

这些火箭有低温前端阶段。Mark I配置了俄罗斯的低温引擎,而Mark II版本配备了国产的低温引擎。

去年Mk II只成功发射了一次。

地球同步卫星运载火箭 D5


Payload capacity (LEO) : 5000 Kg

到达近地球轨道的?#34892;?#36733;荷: 5000公斤


The GSLV-III features an Indian cryogenic third stage and a higher payload capacity than the current GSLV. A suborbital flight test of the GSLV-III launcher, with a passive cryogenic third stage, was successfully carried out on 18 December 2014, and was used to test a crew module on a suborbital trajectory.

地球同步卫星运载火箭 MkIII:

地球同步卫星运载火箭- III具有印度低温第三级和比当前GSLV更高的?#34892;?#36733;荷能力。2014年12月18日,被动低温第三级GSLV-III发射装置亚轨道飞行试验成功进行,并在亚轨道轨道上测试了乘员舱。


Payload Capacity (LEO) : 8000 Kg

到达近地球轨道的?#34892;?#36733;荷: 8000公斤

This was a comparison based only on the launch vehicle that these agencies possess. There are many more parameters but the ranking of the agencies will remain the same.

Another major and a very difficult task is orbital rendezvous which is not yet undertaken by ISRO whereas all the others have this capability.

NASA and the ROSCOSMOS have supplied the major parts of the ISS where as JAXA , ESA and the CSA (Canadian Space Agency) have contributed a lot to it and have even sent their astronauts .

The Chinese Space agency have their own space station i.e. The Tiangong 1 and are planning to launch the second (Tiangong 2) in a short while.

At present only three agencies possess the capability for manned missions and these are : NASA , ROSCOSMOS and CNSA.






Isro in not involved in the ISS at all as it works on a very small budget and would not have been able to make any huge contribution to it.

On the whole it can be said that ISRO lies in the sixth place behind NASA, ROSCOSMOS, Chinese Space Agency, ESA , and JAXA.

But an Important point is that the motive of ISRO is a bit different from the other agencies. Its primary objective is to advance space technology and use its applications for national benefit. Also the budgets of these agencies actually differ a lot so its not entirely fair to rank these agencies. They all are doing an excellent work and bidding collectively for advancement in space technology.





Ritvik Khattar

Updated Sep 3, 2015

Originally Answered: How does India's space program compare with space programs of other countries?

Water was discovered on moon by ISRO not NASA.

India's space mission to mars is designed and implemented at a cost one third of a Hollywood movie about space exploration (Gravity) and is expected to cost same as an auto fare, that is Rs 10 per km. (Thanks User)

India is now a regular medium for countries like Germany Korea Japan and France to launch and deploy their satellites into space. ( Japanese and French ssatellites were deployed by ISRO's last launch).





Update :-

Recently ISRO helped US launch one of the heaviest payloads. (US is the 20th country to launch commercial satellite via ISRO)

India now has the largest fleet of remote sensing satellites in the world.

Coming down to some numbers, India's mars mission costed about 69 million dollars and took about 18 months of preparation compared to 5 years and about 670 million dollars took by NASA for their mars mission.

On similar lines India's mission to moon took about 59 million dollars which is about 10% of NASA's budget for its similar mission to moon.









Sanket Shah, Space Enthusiast

Answered Aug 1, 2015

Originally Answered: Where does India stand/rank in the world's space exploration programs?

I'd divide this in a tier system.


They are the world leaders. They do the best missions and gave maximum resources. This would contain NASA and the Russian agency. They lead the world when it comes to space missions. NASA surged ahead since 90s due to economic and political stability of the USA. Today USA has private companies like SpaceX & Orbital Sciences Corps with serious launch capabilities.  




他们是世界领袖。他们完成了最好的任务,提供了最大的资源。其中包括了美国宇航局和俄罗斯太空总署。他们在太空任务方面领先世界。由于美国经济和政治的稳定,美国宇航局自90年代以来取得了飞速发展。如今,美国拥有SpaceX,Orbital Sciences Corps等拥有?#30475;?#21457;射能力的?#25509;?#20844;司。


These are the second best agencies. This would contain European Space Agency, Canadian Space Agency & Japanese JAXA. It helped to have Europe working together. They have some highly complex missions like Cassini, Hayabusa, Rosetta/Philae etc under their belt where the beat the tier-1 agencies.

China and India are making serious attempts to enter this club. China has made leaps and bounds in manned space missions and India has its forte in Remote Sensing and interplanetary missions.





China and India would come in this. They are better than rest of the world but not near the tier-1,2 agencies.


These agencies are going places in their own way. Brazil, Israel, Iran, South Korea would come in this category. They have significant launch capabilities and operate complex satellites.






Kumar Harshit, works at Indian Space Research Organisation

No space agency is better or worse than each other, it all depends on their priorities. As priority of ISRO is to work for the betterment of society of our nation. Doing research is not a prime goal of ISRO. In ISRO the research fields are very limited and are dependent on the needs. MOM or Chandrayaan missions were tried because a time will come when society will need to know a bit more about these planets and possibility of life on them.

But priorities of ESA and CNSA are different. With normal satellite launches they are also dedicated to launch research and experimental satellites. They are trying many new things, which can sometime fail too.

Two different agencies can be compared only if their Priorities as well as funding are same, that’s why no comparison should be made between these agencies.





Desham Pravesh

All agencies ISRO, ESA and NASA are working fairly for achieving their goals.

ESA is focusing on making its technology competitive and working hard to protect its market share.

NASA is working for developing new technologies but has given up its launching program to private companies like Boeing, SpaceX etc. Currently SpaceX is testing its reusable rocket, which can reduce its launch cost from $62M to $39M.

ISRO has different approach,

(1) ISRO is indigenizing current space tech. It is making its own indigenous rockets, cryogenic engines, navigation, spy & communication satellites.

(2)It is cutting its costs in launch technology. Curently PSLV costs $15M & GSLV costs $36M which are by far cheaper than any other launch vehicles, even cheaper than upcoming Falcon 9.

(3) Testing next generation launch technology to further decreasing its costs like using single launcher for multiple orbit launches, using scramjet engine for minimizing rocket size (40%) and save fuel (70%).

(4) Finally developing RLV-TD a reusable launch vehicle to make space program cheaper and perform advanced space research.










Sarvesh Deo Gupta, I always try to do my best.

There is no doubt that Russia,China,USA have more advance technology as compared to India .They are much older in these field ,they have more larger and powerful rockets .we can say that all these country are ahead of india,beside of this India is the only country in the world who got success in its maiden attempt and first in Asia to get succes, leaving behind country like CHINA.not technology wise but team work, hard work,determination........ All these quality make India ahead of all these country.It won't be very long when India will also get success in improving its technologies like all these country by itself.



Shmuel Gould, space enthuasiat

Answered Oct 7, 2014


  1. NASA*
  2. RosCosmos*
  3. China's
  4. ESA
  5. ISRO
  6. JAXA*
  7. CSA *
  8. ISA*
  9. South Korea's*


  1. 美国宇航局
  2. 俄罗斯联邦航天局
  3. 中国航天局
  4. ?#20998;?#33322;天局
  5. 印度空间研究组织
  6. 日本宇航探索局
  7. 加拿大宇航局
  8. 伊朗宇航局
  9. 韩国宇航局

NASA and RosCosmos are currently fighting for the top position, with only Russia having the capability to bring people to the ISS and NASA's budget being cut to nothing.

I put JAXA first because they actually built a module for the ISS, while CSA only contributed the CanadaArm2. However, the CSA has had more astronauts.

Some say South Korea has a stronger space agency than Israel, but no for two reasons: 1. Israel has had an astronaut. 2. Israel sends far more satellites than SK and it was the 8th country to do so.



有人说韩国拥有比以色列更?#30475;?#30340;太空机构,但我不这么认为,理由有两点:1.以色列已经有了一名宇航员。2. 以色列发射的卫星比韩国多得多,是第8个成功发射卫星的国家。


Jitendra Patel, make web for everone

Updated Mar 7, 2018

ISRO is known for shocking the rest of the world with brilliant accomplishments on a Spartan budget: successfully sending a probe (of their own design and manufacture) to Mars (on their own rocket) on their very first attempt, and successfully testing a scaled prototype of their own space shuttle. Among many other more modest but significant successes of course, but those two in particular have cemented their status as one of the premier space agencies in the world.



Abhishek Tomar, studied at TSS International School

Updated Dec 29

NASA is at the top in the top space organisations, russia stands second, china is 3rd, UK i s 4th and India 5th

India stand on the 5 rank in the top agencies in the world










10)South Korea














Abhijit Parashar, Software Developer at JDA Software

Answered Sep 23, 2014

Its 5th. Nasa, soviet union, Europe, China and India. After mom we will be on second position together with soviet. Soviet and Europe have already reached mars once but the cost effectivity we have will bring us to second position. May be chandrayan 2 will leave soviet far behind Coz we had a very successful part one.


三泰虎原创译文,禁止转载!:首页 > 印度 » 如果对各国宇航局进行排位,印度ISRO能排第几名


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