Former ISRO Chief Dr K Sivan Shares His Insights With NewsX On Chandrayaan-3’s Anticipated Success
23 August, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava
Dr. K Sivan provided a glimpse into India's bold ambitions in space exploration, underlining the nation's determination to leave an indelible mark on the cosmos and inspire generations to come.
Dr. K Sivan, former chief of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), shared his thoughts on India’s forthcoming lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3 while speaking exclusively on NewsX. The conversation delved into his confidence in the mission’s success; the lessons learned from previous attempts, the surge of national enthusiasm, and the evolving landscape of India’s space industry.
Dr. Sivan exuded confidence as he discussed Chandrayaan-3’s prospects, assuring viewers that the meticulous preparations were progressing seamlessly. He expressed optimism about a successful landing, citing the meticulous planning and expectation for a glitch-free mission. His conviction in the project’s success resonated, leaving no room for doubt. He stated, “We are really very confident that this time we will achieve the mission successfully. All the preparations are going on very well till now. Whatever we expected to happen without any glitches.”
Responding to the notion of Chandrayaan 2’s orbiter welcoming Chandrayaan 3, Dr. Sivan acknowledged the still-operational orbiter’s valuable scientific contributions. He noted that the coexistence of multiple missions on the lunar surface was a testament to India’s expanding footprint in space exploration. He affirmed, “The Chandrayaan 2 orbiter is still functioning. It is producing very good science results. It is nothing surprising that it is welcoming Chandrayaan 3 to the moon.”
Reflecting on the past, Dr K Sivan delved into the lessons learned from the 2019 Chandrayaan 2 mission. He revealed that anomalies in the thruster, guidance, and control systems were identified through telemetry data. These insights led to meticulous corrective actions, ensuring the smooth progress of Chandrayaan 3. He elaborated, “We got through the telemetry data and found that there were some discrepancies in the Chandrayaan 2 systems. Corrective actions have been taken, and now Chandrayaan 3 is proceeding without any problem.”
The sentiment of national unity and support was palpable when Dr. Sivan recounted the memorable hug shared with Prime Minister Modi. He recounted that the gesture conveyed a powerful message—embracing not only him but the entire nation’s aspirations and dreams. He shared, “Now that he has not told anything to me. He simply hugged and gently tapped on the back. So which conveyed a huge amount of message that I felt as if the entire nation was hugging me. That feeling was there.”
Dr K Sivan underlined the significant motivation derived from the overwhelming national excitement and support for the mission. He expressed confidence that the team would exceed expectations and deliver a flawless landing, fulfilling the nation’s aspirations. He asserted, “Throughout India, the high expectations are there on this landing, and people are eagerly waiting for this particular soft landing with anxiety. This time we will not disappoint them. We’ll be able to achieve the landing process correctly.”
Amidst discussions of lessons learned, Dr K Sivan extended words of encouragement to the team. Acknowledging the inherent anxiety in space missions, he emphasized facing uncertainties with confidence, while acknowledging that certain factors remained beyond human control. He offered, “Even though every space mission is a very anxious moment for all of us, we will go ahead with full confidence. But certain things will happen that are not under our control. This anxiety will always be there, even now.”
Reflecting on his contribution to ISRO’s achievements, Dr Sivan expressed pride in his role and the organization’s accomplishments. He highlighted the profound impact of India’s involvement in space exploration, positioning the nation on the global space map. He affirmed, “So we are really proud that we are Indians and that we could contribute to the Chandrayaan program in whatever way possible. I’m really proud of that.”
Looking ahead, Dr K Sivan remarked on the growing momentum in India’s space industry. He credited the government’s decision to open the sector to private players, fostering enthusiasm and encouraging the private sector’s active involvement in space activities. He observed, “There is a lot of momentum created in the space industry. The government has opened up the space sector for activities, and there’s a lot of enthusiasm in the private sector to build the space system. A welcome change. A lot of interest is created.”
To young engineers and scientists, Dr K Sivan’s message was simple yet profound: inculcate a scientific temper and strive for development. He emphasized that nurturing a scientific mindset was the key to achieving remarkable advancements. He concluded, “The young engineers and scientists should inculcate that scientific temper in their minds. With that, they will be able to achieve many developments. This is the message I want to convey to them.”
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