Space for Dreams (ISRO)- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 3: Science and Technology- Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Space for Dreams (ISRO)- Context
- Recently, S. Somanath who heads the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) at Thiruvananthapuram takes over as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s chairperson.
- He succeeds K. Sivan, who also came to head ISRO after having led the efforts at VSSC.
Space for Dreams (ISRO)- Key Points about S. Somanath
- Engineering Background: Somanath is the third consecutive chairperson of ISRO to have a master’s degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Science.
- Edge in Engineering Field: Somanath’s specific expertise in leading innovations in rocket engines, the cryogenic engine may shape future developments at ISRO.
Space for Dreams (ISRO)- Key Projects to be led by S. Somanath
Sivan led Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), which broke the records for the expense by costing just ₹7 per kilometre, and Chandrayaan 2, which kept anticipation high.
On the other hand, S. Somanath will lead some key projects of ISRO in the coming years. Few of them are listed below-
- Gaganyaan: He will oversee the unfurling of the human space flight program Gaganyaan of the ISRO.
- Aditya-L1: This has morphed and grown into what will be India’s grandest investment in space dedicated to science, specifically, solar physics.
- The aim of Aditya-L1 is to take a space observatory to the Lagrangian point one (L-1) to study the Sun.
Space for Dreams (ISRO)- Privatization of Space Innovation
- Background: Until a few years ago, ISRO had remained largely preoccupied with deriving socio-economic benefits from space technology and applications.
- These ventures had strong industry participation, but privatization reforms have been pursued hard recently, especially with the announcement of NSIL in march 2019.
- Somanath will further lead this transition in the stance of ISRO towards privatization.
- NewSpace India Limited (NSIL): It was launched in March and the commercial arm of ISRO was more firmly established. Key functions of NSIL will be-
- Building and launching satellites,
- Provide launch services,
- Build customized launch vehicles,
- Provide services of Earth observation and communication through satellites and
- Transfer technology to Indian industry.
- Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center: The announcement of creating another institution named the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center came in June 2020.
- Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center will act as a channel through which non-governmental private enterprises can carry out space activities.
Space for Dreams (ISRO)- Way Forward
- Competing with other countries: The country’s imagination to get up to speed with other competing nations would be put to the test under the new leadership.
- Transfer of Technology: ISRO and its sister organizations have much to offer in the form of spin-offs and technology transfer.
Space for Dreams (ISRO)- Conclusion
- Space Science not only contributes to immense learning and perspective but also unfolds the very horizon, enhancing universal feelings of oneness.