Difference Between NASA and ISRO


Both NASA and ISRO are major space research organizations of the world. Whereas NASA is an organization in the US, ISRO is India’s organization. Both are involved in space research and exploration and as such there are bound to be many similarities in the functioning of NASA and ISRO. On the other hand, there are glaring differences both in terms of experience and accomplishments which place NASA far ahead of ISRO. Let us find out a bit about both space organizations.


Considered to be world’s most advanced space research organization, NASA is an agency of the government of the US engaged in a civilian space program along with aeronautics. It was established in 1958 and since then has never looked back, achieving much in terms of space exploration. NASA is credited with the legendary Apollo mission that put man on moon, Skylab space station, and Space shuttle that have enriched mankind with a lot of information about planets such as Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Currently NASA is engaged in setting up an International Space Station.

Over the years, NASA has collected enormous amount of data and information about celestial bodies and willingly shares this data with other space organizations around the world. In its illustrious 50 years of existence, NASA has launched 1091 unmanned space satellites and 109 manned missions to different planets in the solar system.


ISRO is the apex body involved in the field of space research and exploration in India. It was established in 1959. With active help from the then Soviet Union and untiring efforts of scientists like Dr. Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai, and Dr. Abdul Kalam , Indian Space Research Organization has achieved a lot in its relatively short period of existence and is today included among top space research organizations of the world.

ISRO has emerged as a premier space agency in the world that is providing launching facilities to satellites of other countries at prices that are considerably lower than that charged by NASA and other major space organizations of the world. The launch capabilities of ISRO are acknowledged even by NASA. ISRO has started work on its ambitious Chandryaan-1 and it plans to send manned missions to space in the near future. The recent discovery of traces of water in the form of ice on the surface of moon is also credited to ISRO.


• NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration while ISRO stands for Indian Space Research Organization

• NASA is an agency of the government of the US while ISRO is an initiative of Indian government.

• NASA is recognized as the best space research organization in the world but ISRO has also made big strides in space exploration and is known for its inexpensive launch facilities.

• Both are actively collaborating with each other to reap benefits through mutual research and exploration