June 29, 1999
BHUBANESWAR, JUNE 28: Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K Kasturirangan on Saturday indicated that there will be no change in the ISRO’s current space policy to a very pro-active one as being advocated by some space analysts. It will also not become a one-stop-space shop like other space agencies in abroad, he said.
“ISRO should not become a one-stop space shop as by and large it has been a research and development organisation. It will develop newer technologies and techniques. It will create prototype experiments to demonstrate the applications on space and when it reaches a level of operational character, we’ll transfer it to the user department or the industry to market it,” he said in an interview to The Indian Express here.
The ISRO chief said that since space was a very investment-intensive area, ISRO can’t go on increasing its budget through government funding and it has to draw a line somewhere. “The organisation will not expand in terms of budget, people and funding from the Government. Space programme will become vibrant but it will not expand through ISRO’s operational capabilities. Rather, it will be through the industries and the entrepreneurs who would stretch it,” he said.
The ISRO chief said that some entrepreneurs have started their talks with the Antrix Corporation Limited, the apex marketing agency of the Department of Space, and made some presentations before the agency. This is the phase in which the familiarising process isgoing on, he said.
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Kasturirangan said that through the help of industries ISRO will promote its space programmes and exploit its advantages. He said that in the next decade, ISRO will move slowly as a single mission of ISRO would cost the country thousands of crores of rupees. “We can’t be pro-active beyond a point,” he added.
Regarding exploiting Sriharikota’s payload and cost advantage, the ISRO chief said it will go for the kill only when it launches it Geo Stationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), sometime in 2001. The PSLV is southern ward launched. So we have do a bit of steering to make it polar direction. Therefore it was not much of an advantage, he stressed. “On the other hand, GSLV will be more closer to the equator and therefore it will be better as a launch vehicle,” he said.
The ISRO chief said that the space research organisation will continue to be a R&D hothouse. The ISRO will create some centres of excellence who will provide support to its space programme. We are talking to the IITs, universities, educational institutes to carry forward these programmes at different levels, he said. On reports on ISRO helping build a spy satellite for the country, Kasturirangan refused to comment.
The ISRO chief also said his organisation would support Orissa’s atmospheric and environment research programmes. He added that ISRO would extend the Forecasting Agriculture output using Space, Agriculture methodology and Land-based observation (FASAL) to the state.
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