RaGa ac­cuses se­nior CBI of­fi­cer for help­ing Mallya es­cape

Mid Day - - NATION -

The In­dian Space Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ISRO) ex­pects to fly its first small rocket with a car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity of about 500-700 kg some­time next year, ac­cord­ing to a top of­fi­cial.

“The de­vel­op­men­tal work for our small rocket that can carry satel­lites weigh­ing around 500 kg is on. The first flight of the small rocket is ex­pected to hap­pen some­time next year,” ISRO Chair­man, K Si­van said.

He said the small rocket will be launched from the ex­ist­ing rock­et­port at Sri­harikota in Andhra Pradesh.

S Rakesh, chair­man-cum­manag­ing di­rec­tor of An­trix Cor­po­ra­tion, said the low­cost small rocket re­quires a ded­i­cated launch pad with a sim­ple ver­ti­cal launch mech­a­nism. “Though SSLV will be ini­tially launched from our rock­et­port at Sri­harikota in Andhra Pradesh, we want to have a sep­a­rate space­port for it later,” Rakesh had said.

Queried about Rakesh’s views on the sep­a­rate space­port, Si­van said ini­tially the small rocket will be flown from Sri­harikota. An­trix may have its own plans for the fu­ture.

In­ci­den­tally, An­trix is calling In­dian na­tion­als to ap­ply for the post of Head, Man­u­fac­tur­ing & Mar­ket­ing of Space Sys­tems’. The job de­scrip­tion be­ing: “Pre­plan­ning ac­tiv­i­ties of new Space Trans­port Sys­tems, which An­trix is en­vis­ag­ing to put into pro­duc­tion. Es­tab­lish­ment of pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties in co-or­di­na­tion with ISRO and In­dus­tries for Tech­nol­ogy Trans­fer and pro­duc­tion of the Sys­tem.”

Si­van also said ISRO is eval­u­at­ing the var­i­ous pro­pos­als it has re­ceived for its lithium-ion bat­tery tech­nol­ogy and is ex­pected to com­plete the process in a month’s time.

“In a month or so the first level of screen of the pro­pos­als will be over,” Si­van said.

Over 130 com­pa­nies had shown in­ter­est in the In­dian space agency’s lithium-ion cell tech­nol­ogy. ISRO had an­nounced its de­ci­sion to trans­fer this tech­nol­ogy to the In­dian in­dus­try on a non-ex­clu­sive ba­sis for us­age in au­to­mo­biles for R1 crore in June.

Congress Pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi has ac­cused former CBI joint di­rec­tor AK Sharma of help­ing fugi­tive busi­ness­man Vi­jay Mallya to es­cape from the coun­try.

He said Sharma, who was in the CBI in 2015, was also “in charge of Ni­rav Modi and Me­hul Choksi’s es­cape plans”.

The Congress Pres­i­dent has alleged that Sharma is Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s “blue-eyed-boy” in the CBI.

How­ever, the CBI said its of­fi­cers had no hand in the es­cape of di­a­mond traders Ni­rav Modi and Me­hul Choksi in con­nec­tion with the over R12,000 crore Pun­jab Na­tional Bank (PNB) scam.

ISRO chair­man K Si­van

Rahul Gandhi; (in­set) Vi­jay Mallya

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