In 1950, the Department of Atomic Energy was founded with Bhabha as its secretary. The department provided funding for space research throughout India. During this time, tests continued on aspects of meteorology and the Earth's magnetic field, a topic that was being studied in India since the establishment of the observatory at Colaba in 1823. In 1954, the Uttar Pradesh state observatory was established at the foothills of the Himalayas. The Rangpur Observatory was set up in 1957 at Osmania University, Hyderabad. Space research was further encouraged by the government of India. In 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 and opened up possibilities for the rest of the world to conduct a space launch.
The Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was set up in 1962.