Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Sivan Saturday said Chandrayaan-2 is not the country’s last attempt at landing on the moon, and that the agency will make another attempt “in the near future”.
Sivan was delivering a speech at the golden jubilee convocation of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. Before the convocation address, Sivan signed a memorandum of understanding with the institute for setting up a space technology cell (STC) at the institute.
“You all have heard about Chandrayaan-2 mission. We could not achieve soft landing, but all the systems functioned until 300 metres from the moon’s surface. Very valuable data is available to set things right… ISRO will pull all its experience, knowledge and technical prowess to set things right and demonstrate soft landing in the near future,” he said.
Responding to a query on the sidelines of the event on whether ISRO would attempt another landing on the moon’s south pole, Sivan said: “Definitely.”
Sivan added that more satellite launches are being planned in the coming month: “Chandrayaan-2 is not the end of the story. Our plans on Aditya L1 solar mission, human space flight programme are on track. A large number of advanced satellite launches are planned in the coming months.”
“Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) will make its maiden flight some time in December or January. Testing of 200-tonne semi-cryo engine is expected to begin shortly while work is on to provide NavIC signals on mobile phones, which will open the path to develop large number of applications for societal needs,” he said.
He urged students to work towards the problems of poverty, hunger, health services and sanitation, drinking water and education. “India is not poor; India’s economy is seventh largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. We are striving to be a five trillion dollar economy in near future. You are all going to be part of that growth story. However, despite the progress made over the last half a century, we have unresolved issues… I call upon all of you to work wholeheartedly in solving these problems. Don’t think these problems will be solved by somebody else.”
He also asked students to strike a balance between passion and talent while choosing careers. “For god’s sake, don’t be a copycat. Just because it is fashionable to be a stand-up comedian, can you be a comedian? The trick is to strike the right balance between what you love and what you are good at. You can always be passionate about music and be a competent engineer as well,” said Sivan. A total of 1,217 postgraduate and 825 undergraduate students were awarded degrees at the convocation, apart from the distinguished alumni awards.