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Srirangapatna to be recognised as birthplace of rocket technology

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A THOROUGH STUDY: Scientist A. Sivathanu Pillai at the Tipu Sultan's ammunition depot in Srirangapatana on Thursday. PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM
A THOROUGH STUDY: Scientist A. Sivathanu Pillai at the Tipu Sultan's ammunition depot in Srirangapatana on Thursday. PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

Special Correspondent

Scientist visits sites associated with Tipu's rocket launching activities

Scientist visits Srirangapatna following a direction by President A.P.J. Kalam The rocket and missile launching pad and ammunition-manufacturing unit are in a shambles Tipu was the first to have a full-fledged rocket force in his army in 1792

SRIRANGAPATANA: Srirangapatana will be officially recognised as the birthplace of rocket technology in the country, and Tipu Sultan's tryst with rocket science and missiles will be recognised as the forerunner of advances in space science in modern India.

A senior scientist from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), A. Sivathanu Pillai, who is also the Chief Controller of Research and Development at DRDO, visited various sites associated with Tipu's rocket and missile launching activities here on Thursday. He will apprise President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam of details of his visit to Srirangapatna.

Dr. Pillai was here following reports about the pathetic state of Tipu's launching pad, which caught the attention of the President who is a rocket scientist. The President directed Dr. Pillai to visit Srirangapatana and apprise him of the situation. Dr. Pillai first visited the rocket and missile launching pad attached to the ramparts of the fort and the ammunition depot all of which have been encroached upon or in neglect. "I am here at the instance of the President and will apprise him of what I have seen," he said. He refused to comment on the condition of the ruins or about their maintenance. "I am a scientist and cannot comment on conservation. But after visiting the sites I am convinced that Srirangapatana is the birthplace of modern rocket science and technology and this should be told to the world," he said. Dr. Pillai said there was a growing consensus among scientists about India's progress in rocket science during the period of Tipu Sultan and he would submit his impressions of his visit here at a meeting of rocket scientists in the next few months. Producing documents as evidence to prove the scientific principles followed in producing rockets during the time of Tipu Sultan, Dr. Pillai said an analysis of a rocket used by Tipu's army proved that it was advanced and had a range of nearly 2 km.

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