COIMBATORE: Cost-effectiveness, reliability and success rate were the reasons behind Chandrayaan Mission attracting commercial deals like space tourism from across the globe said, ISRO retired scientist Mylswamy Annadurai.
While Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled to be launch at 2.51 am on July 15 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, the man behind the first mission — Mylswamy Annadurai — is still the cynosure of adulation of his fraternity, academicians and the gentry alike. Hailing from a village in Pollachi, Annadurai is as excited as the next man with the prospects of Chandrayaan-II.
In a candid one-on-one, Annadurai let on to TNIE what the mission, its preparation and the eventual success meant to him. “When the mission was envisaged in 2004, all thought it would be in line with a series of probes (60-70) that preceded it insofar as the findings were concerned.
In hindsight, we did better than anybody gave us a chance. Discovery of water on moon was a watershed moment for Chandrayan-I. Ripples of our discovery resonate in the ‘Back to the Moon’ slogan doing the round across globe.”
Chandrayaan-I’s success opened a new chapter in space exploration, and that too at a time when international organisations with deep pockets could not trace the availability of water on earth’s only satellite. The Chandrayaan-I marked a paradigm shift in space exploration.
“Serious discussions are underway to maintain permanent space stations, boost space tourism etc. In future, it will be possible to people to stay for longer durations on moon,” he said.
Though India was late off the blocks in the space race, its success combined with effectiveness and reliability have ushered in a sea-change.
“Now, all countries want viable missions in line with ours. However, we cannot be complacent as we need a constellation of satellites for various purposes to ease life and strengthen security,” he says.
Annadurai has words of praise for Chandrayaan-II project director M Vanitha, who according to him was a reluctant beginner. “She was the associate project director when the promotion came her way. She is good at problem-solving. However, she was hesitant at first. We brainstormed, discussed and encouraged her a lot to accept the mission as by our estimation almost all work had been completed and she would be required to spend only six months in the project.”
Annadurai, currently the Vice President of Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology (TNSCST), was born on July 2, 1958, in Kothavadi near Pollachi in Coimbatore district. He did his schooling in Kothavadi before obtaining a Bachelors in Engineering degree (electronics and communication) in 1980 from Government College of Technology, Coimbatore.
He did his masters in Engineering from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, in 1982 before earning his PhD from Anna University. He joined ISRO in 1982.