Space agency to promote scientific temper in country
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will have an year-long Vikram Sarabhai centenary celebration starting in August 2019 to honour the visionary scientist and its legendary founding father.
In a few months’ time, it plans to roll out a dedicated ISRO TV channel showcasing space applications, developments and science issues, targeting young viewers and people in remote areas in their language.
Series of events
Sarabhai, the architect of the Indian space programme, the first ISRO chief and renowned cosmic ray scientist, was born on August 12, 1919.
ISRO’s tributes to Sarabhai start with naming the first Indian moon landing spacecraft of the Chandrayaan-2 mission ‘Vikram’. The mission is planned for early 2019. A chair each at Sarabhai’s two alma maters, Cambridge University and Gujarat University, as also at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), would be set up, apart from giving awards, scholarships and fellowships in the country and abroad, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said at a news conference on Sunday, the 99th birthday of the legend.
Sarabhai was only 28 when he sowed the seeds of a space agency around the late 1940s and 1950s. “We have planned an year-long centenary of the visionary architect of the space programme and our first Chairman, Dr. Sarabhai, during 2019-20. A series of activities will be organised nationally and internationally to commemorate the great international scientist,” Dr. Sivan said.
The events are being taken up with an initial outlay of ₹ 50 crore.
Earlier, former Chairman of ISRO K. Kasturirangan unveiled a new bust of Sarabhai at the remodelled atrium of ISRO headquarters, Antariksh Bhavan.
Dr. Sivan said 100 lectures by science luminaries would be held across the country and in association with the International Astronautical Federation, the global space networking body. Space clubs, knowledge centres and talk shows are also among the plans.
Public satellite launches
As it strengthens its public outreach, ISRO will shortly start allowing the public to watch satellite launches from its Sriharikota launch centre. “We are opening our space port to visitors just as NASA (the U.S.’ National Aeronautical and Space Administration) does,” Dr. Sivan said.
Courtesy : The Hindu