After graduating from Madras Institute of Technology (MIT - Chennai) in 1960, Abdul Kalam joined Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as a scientist. Kalam started his career by designing a small helicopter for the Indian Army, but remained unconvinced with the choice of his job at DRDO.
Kalam was also part of the INCOSPAR committee working under Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned space scientist. In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) where he was the project director of India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near earth orbit in July 1980.
Joining ISRO was one of Kalam's biggest achievements in life and he is said to have found himself when he started to work on the SLV project.
Kalam first started work on an expandable rocket project independently at DRDO in 1965. In 1969, Kalam received the government's approval and expanded the programme to include more engineers.