India a role model in space programme: scientist

Staff Reporter

ISRO satellites have aided growth in almost all sectors by arming the common man with information.

Kochi: K. Radhakrishnan, director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, said on Saturday that over the past four decades India has become a role model for the world in use of space technology for the benefit of the common man.

Speaking to aspiring entrepreneurs on the Chandrayaan mission as part of Technopreneur 2009 organised by Yi-Net Model Engineering College, Thrikkakara, Mr. Radhakrishnan said that Indian Space Research Organisation satellites aided growth in all sectors, from fishing to agriculture and education, by arming the commoner with information received from space besides yielding direct economic benefits.

“If Rs.28,000 crore has been spent by ISRO for deployment of 50 satellites and development of 27 launch vehicles, it has given rich dividends, and the direct economic benefits alone would be about one-and-a-half times more the expenditure,” said Mr. Radhakrishnan. In terms of the long-term benefits, it would be more.


Citing the instance of Chandrayaan–1 launch in response to a question on its utility and feasibility, he said if Rs.286 crore was spent on developing the polar satellite launch vehicle and the Chandrayaan spacecraft, the deep space communication network that was readied on a sum of Rs.100 crore would stay in active service at least for the next 15 years.

He said India took on the interplanetary exploration programme because it benefited the country in terms of material and energy, as in future ways would be evolved to tap helium-3, a tonne of which would be enough to light up the entire United States.

Referring to the space programme of space programme of other countries, he said: “They started it much early, but we leapfrog.”

Calling the 16,000 strong workforce of ISRO a single selfless family, he said it was distinct as the work culture and the tradition that valued excellence over seniority helped it achieve its dreams. “We have a transparent review system and we discuss on issues not on persons,” he said.

Talking about ISRO’s future plans, he said: “On the drawing board now are plans to put satellites around the Mars by 2013.

In another seven years, we would also put men on the moon. By 2020, we could put Indians on the moon and bring them back safely. Dreaming is the beginning of achievements.”

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