New Isro chair­man aims for the moon

The Asian Age - - Nation - B. R. SRIKANTH

A bounty of new ser­vices and ap­pli­ca­tions for the com­mon man fig­ures at the top of the list of mustdo tasks of Dr Kailasavadi­voo Si­van, when he as­sumes of­fice as chair­man, In­dian Space Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion ( Isro) here on Mon­day.

Th­ese ben­e­fits will be handed to peo­ple through ad­vanced and high per­for­mance satel­lites in the near fu­ture, he told Dec­can Chron­i­cle, adding that rock­etry, his field of ex­per­tise, would fig­ure lower down in the list of pri­or­i­ties. And, all ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies en­vis­aged would be built into both com­mu­ni­ca­tions and re­mote sens­ing satel­lites be­ing de­signed and man­u­fac­tured for launch this year and later, he added.

He said the launch of In­dia’s sec­ond probe at the moon, Chan­drayaan- II in the first half of 2018, and de­vel­op­men­tal flight of heavy- lift Geosyn­chronous Satel­lite Launch Ve­hi­cle ( GSLV- MK3) in April, are the two most chal­leng­ing mis­sions this year.

“We will de­clare GSLVMK3 as op­er­a­tional af­ter two suc­cess­ful de­vel­op­men­tal flights. We will also fo­cus on re­duc­tion in cost of satel­lites, and fol­low the road map for de­sign­ing big­ger launch ve­hi­cles. We are car­ry­ing out more tests of sys­tems and com­po­nents be­fore the next flight of the Re­us­able Launch Ve­hi­cle ( RLV). At the same time, the con­cept of two- stage­toor­bit ( TSTO) for de­sign­ing new launch ve­hi­cles have been dis­cussed at length, and we are likely to take a de­ci­sion in the months to come,” he added.

Dr Si­van said work is apace on de­vel­op­ment of semi- cryo­genic rocket en­gine with tests of sub­sys­tems and the hard­ware re­quired for this unique con­cept of pow­er­ing rock­ets.

“It is dif­fi­cult to spec­ify a time­line for the semi- cryo­genic en­gine as all sub- sys­tems must be tested ex­ten­sively be­fore in­te­gra­tion,” he added. Dr Si­van, who will oc­cupy the top of­fice for three years, said the an­nounce­ment about his ap­point came a sur­prise.

He joined Isro in PSLV Project and has con­trib­uted to­wards end to end mis­sion plan­ning, mis­sion de­sign, mis­sion in­te­gra­tion and anal­y­sis. The mis­sion de­sign process and in­no­va­tive mis­sion de­sign strate­gies per­fected for PSLV have be­come crit­i­cal for launch ve­hi­cles like the Geosyn­chronous Satel­lite Launch Ve­hi­cle, GSLVMK3, and Tech­nol­ogy Demon­stra­tor of Re­suable Launch Ve­hi­cle, the In­dian ver­sion of the US Space Shut­tle.

Kailasavadi­voo Si­van

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