COIMBATORE: India is aiming for a cost-effective, reliable and successful launch of Chandrayan-2 to attract global commercial space tourism, former ISRO scientist and the initial head of Chandrayaan-2 Mayilsamy Annadurai said on Saturday.
Chandrayaan-2, which is scheduled to launch at 2.51 am on Monday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, has generated a lot of buzz.
Speaking to Express, Annadurai said, ''Like everybody, I too am eagerly awaiting the launch of Chandrayan-2. When we started the work for the moon mission (Chandrayan-1), everybody thought there was nothing new in our initiative as previously 60 to 70 missions had landed on the moon.
"Success of Chandrayaan 1 has made us realise how we have performed much better (than others). Discovery of water on the moon was a big achievement by Chandrayan-1. The success of this mission led to a slogan - 'Back to the Moon' among space agencies across the globe."
"Our mission was very modest. Although other space agencies spent billions of dollars on their moon mission, they failed to discover the availability of water on the moon. Our mission has changed the way we look at moon today," Annadurai said.
"Now, we are planning to build a permanent space station for space tourism. There are possibilities for humans to go to the moon in future," he added.
Annadurai said India's moon mission has also attracted a lot of commercial interest from around the globe.
Speaking about Chandrayaan-2 project director M Vanitha, he said, "Previously, she was the associate project director. Last year, she was made project director. Vanitha, who is good at problem-solving was hesitant at the beginning. We encouraged her saying that almost all the work is done and she only has to spend six months on the project. Finally, she was convinced and took charge."
Annadurai is currently Vice President of the Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology (TNSCST). The man, who initially headed the Chandrayaan 2 mission after the successful launch of Chandrayaan 1, hails from a village in Pollachi, Coimbatore.
He joined ISRO in 1982, worked as mission director of various projects, before heading Chandrayaan-1 as its project director.
Annadurai's younger brother M Balasubramaniyam, who is a Kargil veteran, served in Indian Air Force for 19 years and who is currently working in BHEL, Tiruchy said, ''Chandrayaan-2 mission should also have been launched during his term as project director. I think even he too must have the same thought."