Tap Space Science Talent for Economic Growth

Published: 30th March 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th March 2015 11:11 PM   |  A+A-

India on Saturday showed its ability to set up an independent regional navigation satellite system, as the Indian Space Research Organisation’s PSLV C-27 launched it into the intended orbit. The ISRO said it is set to start operations of India’s own version of the Global Positioning System. The Indian technology is most needed by our armed forces for precision guidance. The ISRO has lined up many launches before March 2016. A PSLV to launch a commercial satellite from the UK, two navigation satellites, a GSAT series satellite and three satellites in IRNSS series are on the anvil. A reusable launch vehicle will also be tested this year as a technology demonstrator. Besides, ISRO has installed a Multi-Object Tracking Radar for which the trials would be conducted soon. The radar is capable of tracking 10 objects in real time simultaneously. ISRO chairman K S Kiran Kumar said the configuration for a satellite for the use of SAARC nations as mooted by prime minister Modi was being finalised and the satellite would be launched in 18 months.

So far, three regional navigational satellites have been placed in orbit as part of a constellation of seven satellites to provide accurate position information service to users, extending up to 1,500km. The entire constellation is planned to be completed this year and will help in diverse fields including defence, farming, transport and tourism. Once all the seven are operational, India can replace the US GPS with the Indian system.

While our space scientists have shown what they can do for the nation, there is a feeling that the government is not paying enough attention to providing them an enabling working environment as many scientific organisations have remained headless for long. The government must take corrective measures without delay and utilise the national talent to give a fillip to economic growth.


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