New Delhi: Chandrayaan 2 is not the end of the story, K. Sivan, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said while attending IIT Delhi’s golden jubilee convocation ceremony.
Sivan added that the organisation will attempt another soft landing “in the near future”.
“You all have heard about Chandrayaan-2 mission. On the technology part – yes, we could not achieve soft landing, but all the systems functioned until 300 metres from the Moon’s surface.”
He also said ISRO had been able to obtain “very valuable data” that would inform changes in the second attempt, and strike out for success again. “Let me assure [you] that ISRO will pull all its experience, knowledge and technical prowess to set things right and demonstrate a soft-landing in near the future,” Sivan said in his address.
“We are working on a plan of action on how to go ahead for the Vikram lander’s landing.”
He also confirmed that ISRO’s plans with the Aditya L1 solar mission and the human spaceflight programme “are on track”. “A large number of advanced satellite launches are planned in the coming months,” he added.
Indeed, the organisation will debut its new Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) in December or January; test a 200-tonne semi-cryogenic engine in the near future; and continue work on providing signals from the NavIC satellite-based navigation system to on mobile phones, paving the way for entrepreneurs to develop applications.
Calling the IITs the “holy grail” of technical education in India, Sivan said that when he graduated from IIT Bombay over three decades ago, his class’s employment prospects weren’t as good as they are today. To quote him:
[My] area of specialisation limited the career options. Today, the options are many. There is an added volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity about the global economy. However, you are are much smarter and aware about these scenarios than the older generations.
One does not need to be a topper or have excellent grades to have a successful career, he added.
Before his address, Sivan had signed a memorandum of understanding with IIT Delhi to set up a ‘Space Technology Cell’ (STC) at the institute. With this, IIT Delhi will join the league of premiere institutions like IISc (Bengaluru) and IIT Bombay, where STCs have been set up to improve as well as build on space technology research and applications.