‘COSPAR is the ideal platform to promote such collaboration’

Calling for a global vision and cooperation on fostering space research, ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan said here on Monday that the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) was the ideal platform to promote such collaboration.

Speaking at the inauguration of the 39th COSPAR Scientific Assembly and the awards presentation ceremony on the Infosys campus here, Mr. Radhakrishnan said the message from the roundtable discussions held during the course of the sessions was clearly towards evolving a larger global vision, which was imperative for scientific community to work together on space.

“We need several scientific visions and COSPAR could be the ideal platform not only in promoting such a vision but also in its implementation,” he added.

Benefits

Recalling India’s space programmes, the ISRO chief said the advancements made in the field of space science and technology had helped bring multiple benefits to society.

He read out a message from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who also heads the Department of Space, wishing the conference success and underlined India’s robust space programme that had helped in spreading the benefits of significant cultural, social and industrial advancement to the remotest corners of the country.

U.R. Rao, chairman of the Physical Research Laboratory Council and former ISRO chairman, said it was gratifying to note that more than 50 countries had built space capabilities.

COSPAR president Giovanni F. Bignami said that COSPAR 2012, being hosted in India, had by far the highest number of scientific events held in any of the past assemblies of the organisation. The COSPAR Space Science Award was conferred on Janet Luhmann, Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, California, for distinguished contributions to space science. Roger-Maurice Bonnet of the International Space Science Institute, Bern, Switzerland, was conferred the International Cooperation Medal. The COSPAR William Nordberg Medal went to Herbert Fischer of Germany, and the COSPAR Harrie Massey Award went to Neil Gehrels of the U.S.

The ISRO-COSPAR Vikram Sarabhai Award was given to Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez, Laboratory of Plasma Chemistry and Planetary Studies, UNAM, Mexico.

The event was marked by cultural programmes featuring folk dances from different parts of the country.