Space expo centre to take off in Hubli soon

Entry fee will be nominal, 2 science teachers will be appointed

Cement models of a satellite and a launch vehicle installed in front of the space exhibition centre in Hubli. DH photo

The centre, sponsored by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is situated on the premises of Sardar Veeranagouda Patil Mahila Vidya Peetha (MVP).

Students of the region need not travel to the relatively far-off Hassan or Bangalore to attend the ISRO space programmes, as the Hubli centre will provide them access to information on space technology, satellites and their uses, and launch vehicles.

Besides, information on four decades of space programmes in India -- from the Aryabhatta satellite of 1975 to the Chandrayaan of 2008 -- satellite functions, communication and geostationary satellites, INSAT applications, edusat, telemedicine, IRS imagery, village resource centre, disaster management with the help of satellites, space capsule recovery experiment, and other topics will be available at the centre.

“ISRO has provided books and CDs on its programmes, and a 45-minute documentary on space science will also be screened at the centre,” MVP secretary K T Patil said.

Cement models of rocket and satellites are installed on the premises, which will have a garden, too. Entry fee will be nominal, and two science teachers will be appointed at the centre. MVP, set up in 1934, houses the centre. It has spent about Rs 12 lakh for renovating the building to accommodate the space centre. ISRO will provide satellite models and launch vehicles.

Space scientist Kasturirangan, during his visit to the institute in February 2008, was so impressed by the cottage where MVP founders Sardar Veeranagouda Patil and Nagamma Patil stayed, that he has promised to grant Rs 25 lakh from his MPLAD fund to set up the centre, K T Patil said.

“We were not able to utilise the grant. Therefore, we renovated a nursery school building which was inaugurated by the late prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1961, and set up the exhibition centre under the guidance of ISRO scientists,” Patil said.

The Rs one-crore building will have three floors. One of them is r eady and the rest are under construction with aid from donors. The plans for future include a planetarium and an exhibition on nuclear energy, to be organised with help from the nuclear power plant at Kaiga in Uttara Kannada district, Patil said.

Former president A P J Abdul Kalam and space scientists Kasturirangan, Radhakrishnan, Madhavan Nair and U R Rao are expected to take part in the inauguration of the space exhibition centre.

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