After India’s successful Mars mission, the country was now on the threshold of climbing the next level of technology ladder, former ISRO chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan said in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. “India’s Mangalyaan mission was executed with commendable precision and the spacecraft is still healthy orbiting planet Mars and sending data regularly to the Indian Deep Space Earth Station near Bengaluru,” Radhakrishnan said.
“India is now on the threshold of climbing the next level of technology ladder, embracing international alliances for newer capabilities and fostering national space industry to meet national and global needs,” he said.
The ex-secretary in the Department of Space was addressing the 4th convocation of the Siksha O Anusandhan University here. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), popularly known as ‘Mangalyaan’, was essentially a mission to demonstrate India’s technological capability to orbit a spacecraft around Mars, Radhakrishnan said.
The world watched with awe as India became the first country to fly a spacecraft around Mars in its very first attempt on September 24, 2014, he said adding that deep space missions like ‘Mangalyaan’ was more complex as compared to placing one around the earth or the moon.
“A mission to Mars is feasible in a specific Earth-Mars-Sun geometry that occurs only once in 26 months. In the case of Mangalyaan, the spacecraft was to traverse close to 660 million km in about 300 days undergoing pressures exerted by the radiation and gravitational forces of the sun and other planets,” he said.
It was a huge computational challenge to predict the magnitude and impact of these forces and their impact as the spacecraft approached the Mars, he pointed out. The Mangalyaan mission was lauded also for clever use of a relatively low-capacity launcher PSLV to get off the gravity of earth, he said. Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) and Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), delivered the key note address on the occasion.
Besides Radhakrishnan and Mohapatra, Dr G.Satheesh Reddy, scientific advisor to the defence minister and director general (Missiles and Strategic Systems), DRDO and Prof Arun Kumar Rath, former civil servant and chairman and professor, Centre for Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility, International Management Institute, New Delhi, were conferred with the Honoris Causa by the university.