India role model in space science benefiting common man: Ex- ISRO Chief

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Kolkata: Former ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan has said India is the “role model” in the world in harnessing space research and explorations for the benefit of the common man.

“The vision of Vikram Sarabhai, our founder, was that this high technology (space science) should be beneficial for the people of this country, for the governance of this country and that is what we have been doing in this area. I am happy to say India is a role model in the whole world in how space can be used for benefits of the people in this country,” Radhakrishnan said at an event here on Wednesday evening.

He was conferred the annual national award, the P.C. Chandra Puraskaar, by the P. C. Chandra Group.

In his address he stressed on how space science (satellite systems and communication) has helped fishermen, farmers and disaster managers in India in early warnings and other services.

During Radhakrishnan’s tenure as the chief of the space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation, India created history by becoming the first country to enter Mars orbit in maiden attempt on September 24, 2014 after a nine-month voyage through the inter-planetary space from Earth.

India also became the first Asian country to have entered the Mars sphere of influence (gravity) in its maiden attempt as a similar mission by China failed in 2011.

Describing India as a “major player” in space technology and explorations, the Padma Bhushan recipient said the Mars’ mission’s success sparked interest in science and space exploration among children in India.

“It was not only the prestigious position that we did it at one go but it kindled the young generation of the country. The children were there in the school together looking at this event and to me that is a great contribution that we have done to the country and we made all Indians proud that India can do it on its own,” said Radhakrishnan, the current chairman, Indian Institutes of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, in West Bengal.

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