Isro launches UNNATI

Isro launches UNNATI

Turns global trainer for 17 countries in space tech

Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State, Department of Space (centre), releases the course book during the inauguration of Unnati training programme in Bengaluru on Thursday. P Kunhi Krishnan, Director, URSC and K Sivan, chairman, Isro, are also seen.

Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) just turned teacher in a big, global way. The premier space agency on Thursday officially kicked off the Unispace Nanosatellites Assembly and Training by Isro (UNNATI) scheme to train the first batch of 30 participants from 17 countries. 

On the UNNATI agenda are modules to strengthen the participating nations' capabilities to assemble, integrate and test nanosatellites. The list of the participating countries includes Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Oman, Panama and Portugal. 

The participants were selected from 87 applications submitted by 34 developing countries worldwide. Two more batches in the pipeline, one starting on October 15, 2019, and another on October 15, 2020.   

Each batch will be for a duration of eight-weeks and will comprise of theoretical course work on nanosatellite definition, utility, laws governing their impact on space debris, design drivers, reliability & quality assurance. Hands-on training is also part of the scheme. 

Compiled in books and CD's, the complete course material was formally released at the launch function on Thursday. UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSAC) director P Kunhikrishnan informed that the Centre has sanctioned Rs 30,000 for Isro's space missions in a very short time. He hoped this interest in space science continues. 

The UNNATI scheme was first announced by Isro chairman K Sivan in Vienna on June 18, 2018, at a symposium to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE+50).

Sivan's take on the UNNATI scheme had a universal appeal. He said: “If you look at the Earth from 100km away, you will find no boundaries. Space can bind humanity and UNNATI will do that.”