Space debris is a concern: Ex-Isro chief Radhakrishnan

Former chairman of Space Commission and Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) K Radhakrishnan on Friday, delivers the Foundation Day Lecture of Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Institute for Management Development (SDM IMD), in Mysuru on Friday. dh

Former chairman of Space Commission and Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) K Radhakrishnan on Friday said that space debris is a concern of all nations and there is a need to have the ability to track them.

Radhakrishnan was delivering the foundation day lecture of Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Institute for Management Development (SDM IMD), here. He said that at present, 1,450 satellites are operational and 23,000 small parts, debris, are around.

“We need to ensure that more debris will not be created and should develop the ability to track them. The debris may create problems to the operational satellites as they move around. The major domain among the space community now is how to remove or scavenge the debris,” he said.

Radhakrishnan said, "India is in the frontline in space technology. There are 65 countries into the space domain, but only a few of them have the ability to launch satellites. Thirty nations have the ability to build satellites and about 50 have the ability to operate the satellites."

Space economy

He said, "The size of the space economy is around $360 million and 25% is contributed by the governments. There is exciting activity by the space system as they are also used for the common man and for service to society."

"Satellites, including remote sensing, communication and navigation, are used by major space agencies to survey agriculture, state of crops, indication possible production well before harvesting, to understand land productivity, how to bring them back to cultivation and how to meet the food requirement. Remote sensing technology made inroads in all these areas and space system is institutionalised," Radhakrishnan said.

He said that before the 1970s, due to a cyclone, thousands of people used to die.

"Now, the intensity of disasters has declined owing to space technology and satellites. Now, we are able to predict cyclones and their intensity in advance. We get information before 48 hours and the authorities concerned evacuate the people to avert disaster and loss of life,” he pointed out.

He said, "Isro faced a challenge to get quality hands when Information Technology (IT) was booming. However, various measures like enhancement of remuneration up to 40% and launch of in-house courses, resolved the problem. Now, Isro has quality staff and students."

Chandrayaan II

Isro cancelled the launch of its second moon mission, Chandrayaan II, at the last movement on July 14, due to minor leakage and not due to technical snags.

“Isro is a successful organisation and is unique. Whenever Isro finds a problem, it detects it soon and brings back to normalcy. The uniqueness of Isro is that whenever there is a success, the credit is given to the team members, but, during failures, the leader takes up the responsibility," he said.

SDM-IMD director N R Parasuraman, deputy director H Gayathri and professor M R Suresh were present.

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