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Launching 103 satellites in single mission no big deal: Madhavan Nair

On what Isro needs to do, he said human spaceflight project should be revived and given a kickstart

Press Trust of India  |  Hyderabad 

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Eminent space scientist G indicated that India planning to launch 103 in a single mission next month is no big deal as the country has already proved such capability, and advocated the need for to focus on reviving human spaceflight venture and other technology development.

"Multiple launches we have proven (our capability) years back. So, there is nothing new in that. Within the 1500 kg capacity, you can carry as many as possible," the former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation told PTI, when asked about the coming

"Today, many of the student projects have come to micro and nano weighing even a fraction of a kilogram. So, it (next month's with 103 satellites on board) cannot be talked about as a big milestone," he said.

During Nair's six-year tenure as Chairman, and Secretary in the Department of Space, 25 successful missions were accomplished, according to information on website.

"But at the same time, in last five years, what are the new programmes that Isro has launched? it's zero," Nair said.

Pointing out that India today is reaping the benefits of what it had invested in the space field in the past, he said, "It's like a big flywheel, it's running down. If you don't give occasional kick, the so-called technology advantage and leadership Isro has enjoyed, will slowly come down. It will also become like any other routine department."

On what Isro needs to do, he said the human spaceflight project should be revived and given a kickstart.

"It's not only just mission and hype but a host of new technologies will get developed for that, like life support system in space, and perfecting recovery and reusable technology capabilities," he said.

According to him, Isro had initiated societal programme based on space technologies long back, and Prime Minister had also stressed the need for using them to penetrate and reach out to the poor in his first Independence Day speech.

"Nothing is visible, we are just talking. Spacecraft technologies also we have to go a long way. We are still five years behind others (leading space-faring nations) in terms of technical skills and capability," Nair added.

First Published: Thu, January 19 2017. 17:28 IST