J.S. Bablu

KOZHIKODE: The challenge while preparing for Chandrayaan-I, the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) mission to moon, is to coordinate with various international agencies involved in it, M. Annadurai, ISRO Chandrayaan-I project director, has said.

Talking to TheHindu during a visit to the city to inaugurate the ‘Moon Landing Week’ celebrations at the Regional Science Centre (RSC) and Planetarium here, Dr. Annadurai said participation of international agencies, including NASA, made it more complex to handle.

He said the project period for the ISRO earlier was about 10 years.

“Then we had the entire ISRO working for the project. But now ISRO has diversified into many areas. I have to put in place a project in a short period of four years with fewer people,” Dr. Annadurai said.

Dr. Annadurai, who did his schooling in Kothavady village near Coimbatore, says rural schooling made him a self-reliant man.

Dr. Annadurai joined ISRO in 1982. He was associate project director of EDUSAT before taking charge as project director of Chandrayaan-1 in 2004. He said ISRO gave him a chance to excel, giving due recognition to his work.

“There was enough freedom in the absence of hierarchy. I joined ISRO as I hated jobs that were of routine nature. ISRO gave me a new opening,” he said.

Science research

Addressing students and teachers at the RSC, he said parents should not insist on “putting all their eggs in one basket - Information Technology.”

Asked what could be done to attract talent to basic science research, he said the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology being set up by ISRO at Ponmudi in Thiruvananthapuram was a first step in this direction. Secondly, missions like Chandrayaan-I will also attract talents to basic science research. “Research in basic sciences and applied sciences is very important for the country to develop,” he said.