Friday, 6 December 2019

Worlds beyond stars

By Prof. NK Singh
Updated: September 16, 2019 5:31 pm

Famous Urdu poet Ilama Mohammad Iqbal who wrote ‘Sare jahan se achha Hindustan hamara’ also  wrote a beautiful Ghazal Sitaron se aage jahan aur bhi hain, abhi ishq ke imtihan aur bhi hain’. Certinly there are worlds beyond stars and certainly there are more trials of love as yet. This is on the lips of all those who love moon and chanderyan’s voyage.

India’s moon mission is an ambitious pogramme that would have placed India as the fourth nation in the world in space research after US ,  Russia and China. Behind science and technology research was Pandit Jawahar lal Nehru, who had deep interest in modern science as a person with rational and scientific temper. He not only established IITs and IIMA but also set up Vikram Sarabhai centre for space research. Pandit Nehru attracted and promoted many scientists like Sarabhai, Bhaba Satish Dhawan and Bhatnagar. These eminent scientists helped in establishing various centers of scientific research, Space research was pioneered at Indian Space research organization.

Space research expanded with the help and support of the Government of India. First satellite Arya Bhata was launched by the same centre.  Rohini became the first Indian made satellite to be launched. This was age of eightees when space research expanded with high targets. PM Modi was personally fond of space technology and gave it unstinted support and full financial assistance. He was personally interested and great motivator for the scientists. In fact he has high esteem for all professionals whether in science or army or any field. As a result rapid growth in science technology became the order of the day.

Chanderyan 2 is a great project to achieve scientific advancement aimed at reaching the moon with an unmanned vehicle. It has orbiter that will continue to move round the moon for more than 7 years whereas the LANDER which has life of ony two weeks will be parked at the moon surface. The Lander failed to make soft landing and crashed with hard landing and the communication was lost. I was a moment of tragedy and disappointment for all more than any citizen of the country the director of the ISRO Shivan felt miserable and cried on the shoulders of the Prime Minister who had come to witness the great event. But what appeared to be all lost situation turned later a sting in the tale. We did not achieve hundred percent of plan as failure consisted in loss of link and communication. When lander was spotted it was tilted and had landed on hard surface instead of soft landing as planned in the plan. All efforts are being made to revive the link and we are still hope for coming fortnight if the link is established.

Entire episode of lander story is full of excitement right from the beginning to the landing on the moon. Herculean effort of the ISRO is not lost but it has achieved a great deal. We did good launching and covered all stages of landing on the moon surface except the last fourth stage of landing. All disappointment and distress in losing the communication link was washed away when Orbiter still circling round, spotted the lander on the moon surface.  Entire scientists community and the country was overjoyed as if we suddenly discovered our lost child. The tears shed by the Director of the mission were not in vain and his effort was rewarded with a very empathic response of the Prime Minister, who while holding him on his shoulders, appeared to the whole country as sensitive and inspiring leader.

Entire project worked meticulously and precisely as planned except the last one fourth stage of the landing operation. Two things should be appreciated by the country that total project was indigenously designed and executed by Indian scientists. No wonder even NASA appreciated it and offered to seek their collaboration in future solar project. Secondly the Chanderyan was unmanned and its all stages precisely worked to the plan except the last failure of communication link. We must salute our scientific mind and talent of the country.  And remember that ‘Sitaron se aage jahan aur bhi hain, abhi ishq ke imtihan aur bhi hain’.

By Prof. NK Singh

(The writer is International Management Adviser)

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