`It took us two flights of ASLV to learn our lesson'
BANGALORE: Delivering the 11th Sir C.V. Raman Memorial Lecture, hosted by the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (IETE), G. Madhavan Nair, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), spoke on social applications of space technology.
ISRO had come a long way from its goals of achieving self-reliance to "an era now when satellite communication is being used to meet societal needs," he said.
EduSat was one such application, Dr. Nair said. "It has reached education to 10,000 classrooms in the country, and the number could soon rise to 1,00,000 classrooms, with a little cooperation from the educational institutions," Dr. Nair said.
By 2012, India was predicted to be the country with the largest population of youth aged below 25. "Young students must be equipped with scientific and exploratory skills so that they are encouraged to dream and convert those dreams into products and services for the global community."
Speaking of the need for "scientific humility", Dr. Nair said that "failure, in particular, is a part of any scientific endeavour, and must be seen as an opportunity for learning and growth." The failure of ASLV's first two flights was a case in point, he said.
"It took us two flights to learn our lesson. We thought we had everything in place for ASLV-2, and yet, it deviated from its path and scattered into pieces during the launch. But I believe we owe our recent successes to events such as these."
Among ISRO's forthcoming ventures, Dr. Nair said, was the Indian Regional Navigation System, which promised to be more effective than the Global Positioning System. This advanced satellite system would ensure landing and take-off in aircraft with a precision of three metres, he added.
The Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (IETE), with 52 centres across India might now be receiving a channel from ISRO's Education Satellite (EduSat) programme, according to S. Narayana, President, IETE.