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Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station

The Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) is an Indian spaceport established on 21st November 1963[1], operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is located in Thumba, Thiruvananthapuram which is near the southern tip of mainland India, very close to earth's magnetic equator. It is currently used by ISRO for launching sounding rockets [1].

Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station
Indian Space Research Organisation Logo.svg
Rohini rocket.jpg
Launch of RH-300 Mk2 from TERLS
Agency overview
Formed1963; 56 years ago (1963)
JurisdictionGovernment of India
HeadquartersThumba, Thiruvananthapuram, India
8°32′34″N 76°51′32″E / 8.54278°N 76.85889°E / 8.54278; 76.85889
EmployeesUnknown (2008)
Annual budgetSee ISRO
Parent agencyISRO
WebsiteISRO TERLS home page

The first rockets were assembled in former St Mary Magdalene church, which houses now a space museum [2].


Thumba is located very close to the magnetic equator of the Earth (located just north of Thumba), making it the ideal location for scientists to conduct atmospheric research.[3] In fact, Thumba's location at 8°32'34" N and 76°51'32" E is ideal for low-altitude, upper atmosphere and ionosphere studies. Thumba is a small fishing village situated close to the Thiruvananthapuram airport in Kerala.[4] Thumba is also one of the farthest points from Pakistan, China and Bangladesh. ref></ref>


  1. ^ a b "Sounding Rockets - ISRO". Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Transported on a Bicycle, Launched from a Church: The Amazing Story of India's First Rocket Launch". The Better India. 8 November 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  3. ^ Ley, Willy (June 1964). "Anyone Else for Space?". For Your Information. Galaxy Science Fiction. pp. 110–128.
  4. ^ "Forty years in Space". India Abroad. Retrieved 10 May 2016.

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