ISRO brushes aside 'discrediting' comments by Chinese daily's op-ed section
By Express News Service | Published: 17th February 2017 04:18 AM |
CHENNAI: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman AS Kiran Kumar has brushed aside popular Chinese daily Global Times' ‘discrediting’ op-ed on agency’s world record feat of putting 104 satellites in orbit in a single mission. He said ISRO was flooded with congratulatory messages from friendly nations.
Without sounding too critical, Kiran Kumar told the Express each person reads what he wants. “China is spending $6 billion per year on space programme for a considerable period of time. If you add up the money that India has to spend on space programme till date, it will not cross what China is spending in a year. This is were the real difference comes. Still, ISRO has managed to do things that others have not at low cost,” he said.
According to data released by the World Economic Forum in 2016, the US’ space budget in 2013 was $39.3 billion, China $6.1 billion, Russia $5.3 billion, Japan $3.6 billion and India $1.2 billion.
He reiterated that PSLV C-37 mission was not intended to set a world record. “We were just trying to utilise the opportunity that we had and maximise the returns. Other things are incidental.”
Global Times in its editorial published on Wednesday said: “The space technology race is not mainly about the number of satellites at one go. It’s fair to say the significance of this (ISRO) achievement is limited. On the whole, India’s space technology still lags behind the US’ and China’s. It has not yet formed a complete system.
For instance, the engine of its rockets is not powerful enough to support large-scale space exploration. There is no Indian astronaut in space and the country’s plan to establish a space station has not started.” The article also terms India plans to reach Venus was another program that is suitable for media hype but lacks follow-up research.
K Sivan, the director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, said India’s priorities are different. Meanwhile, the Indians across the globe are trolling Global Times op-ed saying it just shows how jealous China is of India’s accomplishments.
This apart, the ISRO has released a video of ‘104’ satellite separation captured by an onboard camera in PSLV. The video has become a rage on social media. The video shows how meticulously the time sequencing and orientation of separation were carried out. The quad packs were being dropped at a rapid pace with an interval of just 5 seconds.
Kiran Kumar said out of 104 satellites, 101 satellites have established contact and communication from three others are awaited.