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India, only country with a space program independent of the military, says former ISRO Chief Padma Shri A.S. Kiran Kumar

In a conversation with The First India, former ISRO Chairman, Dr A.S. Kiran Kumar speaks about the indigeneity of Indian space exploration and progress of upcoming projects like Gaganyaan, Chandrayaan-2, the Solar Probe, and more. “We’ve developed our own technology like ‘GSLV-3’ for the simple reason that one superpower manipulated the technology and didn’t allow other nations to work with it,” said Kumar.

Talking about the Russia-Ukraine war and the ISS fiasco, Kumar stated that,at its own growth rate, India will manage accordingly. Though due to geopolitical and economic constraints, ISRO is not yet focusing on developing support systems for the space station, but has started grooming astronauts and planning manned missions in the form of Gaganyaan.

Furthermore, ISRO has created 3 upgraded and economically feasible versions of the ‘CE-20’ cryogenic engine, which are going to be the backbone of upcoming Lunar Exploration missions and India’s maiden attempt to put astronauts in the orbit. Recently in October, the same CryoEngine was utilised in the ‘oneweb’ project in collaboration with Bharti Airtel for launching 36 of their satellites in one go. This was a major commercial opportunity worth Rs1,000 Crores.

Notably, the Government of India has allowed private companies to develop space research projects and collaborate with ISRO in order to expand the scope of India’s space exploration and development. The government also encourages the organisation to educate and motivate the country’s youth through various events and exhibits.

Meanwhile, the 3-day ISRO exhibition organized at JECRC University saw a participation of nearly 12,000 from across the State, along with renowned scientists and dignitaries from across the State.

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