Step To Determine Future Of Indian Space Program

April 24, 2006

Sometime next year, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will carry a payload to 800 km above the earths' surface, which will determine the future missions of the Indian space programme. The rocket will put into orbit a payload which will then re-enter the Earth's atmosphere. The objective of the mission, titled 'Payload Recovery Experiment' is to bring back the payload in an intact condition.

The experiment is important because future missions of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will involve re-useable vehicles, which have to endure high temperatures while re-entering the atmosphere.

"The success of this experiment will be crucial for missions like Chandrayan, where the space craft will have to be recovered," said honorary director of ISRO-University of Pune center MC Uttam at a lecture in Agharkar Research Institute on Friday.

According to him, ISRO has already chalked out its plans for the next 25 years and the ultimate objective is to design a single or double stage re-usable vehicle, which will use air breathing technology to power itself in the lower atmosphere.

Uttam fondly recalled the initial days of the Indian space programme, when the President APJ Abdul Kalam and his colleagues prepared payloads for sounding rockets with their own hands.

Uttam pointed out the trust, faith and freedom that the government had bestowed on the ogranisation. He credited scientists like Vikram Sarabhai, Homi Bhabha, and Satish Dhawan, who gave the programme the focus and direction: "When ASLV rocket failed, the in-charge of the programme took up the responsibility in front of the media. He did not mention Kalam's name, who was the project manager. When it came to credit, he always put his juniors before him."

Copyright 2006 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International

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