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US experts wanted India to share space tech with them seeing Chandrayaan-3 development: ISRO chief

ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 soft landed on the lunar surface on August 23 this year, making India the fourth country to land on the Moon. PM Modi named the landing point of Vikram lander as Shiv Shakti Point.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Rameswaram Published on: October 15, 2023 16:30 IST
S Somanath, ISRO
Image Source : PTI ISRO Chairman S Somanath.

ISRO chairman S Somanath on Sunday (October 15) said that after witnessing the developmental activities of Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, the experts involved in developing complex rocket missions in the US have asked India to share space technology with them.

Somanath revealed the reason behind the entry of private players into the space sector in the country and said that times have changed and India is now capable of building the best of devices and rockets which is why Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opened up the space sector for the non government entities, he said at an event in Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram.

The ISRO chief was addressing students at an event organised by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s Foundation, commemorating the 92nd birth anniversary of the late former President today.

“Our country is a very powerful nation. You understand that? Our knowledge and intelligence level in the country is one of the best in the world," the ISRO chief said.

ISRO explains to NASA scientists about Chandrayaan-3

He explained that while designing and developing the spacecraft for Chandrayaan-3, ISRO invited experts from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA-JPL, who does all the rockets and most difficult mission.

“About 5-6 people from NASA-JPL came (to ISRO headquarters) and we explained to them about Chandrayaan-3. That was before the soft landing took place (on August 23). We explained how we designed it and how our engineers made it...and how we are going to land on the Moon’s surface, and they just said, 'no comments. everything is going to be good',” he said.

JPL is a research and development laboratory funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and managed by California Institute of Technology (CALTECH) in the United States of America.

He revealed that the US space experts hailed the scientific instruments at ISRO calling them “easy to build” and “high technology”.

“They (US space experts) also said one thing, 'look at the scientific instruments, they are very cheap. Very easy to build and they are high technology. How did you build it? Why don’t you sell this to America,' they were asking," he said.

"So you (students) can understand how times have changed. We are capable of building the best equipment, best devices, and the best rockets in India. That is why our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opened the space sector," he added.

India touched down near the South pole of the Moon on August 23 this year, making it only the fourth country to land on the lunar surface after the US, China and the erstwhile Soviet Union.

The ISRO chief invited the students to build rockets, satellites.

ISRO chief's motivation for students

“Now we are telling you people (to) come and build rockets, satellites and make our nation more powerful in space technology. It is not only ISRO, everybody can do it in space. There is one company in Chennai building rockets called Agnikul and another in Hyderabad called Skyroot. At least in India, there are five companies today building rockets and satellites,” he said.

Appealing to the young audience at the venue to follow the ideology of Kalam, Somanath said the most powerful tool is to dream and "Kalam sir told you that you should dream when you are awake and not in the night."

“Anybody have such dreams? Anybody want to go to the Moon? When we landed Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the Moon, I declared to Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) that India is on the Moon. And he asked when are you going to send an Indian to the Moon. So, some of you sitting here will do that job. Some of you will design the rocket which will go to the Moon," he said.

“And at the launch of Chandrayaan-10, one of you will go sitting inside the rocket and most probably a girl child. A girl astronaut will go from India and then land on the Moon (in Chandrayaan-10 mission)” he said, amid applause from the students.

(With PTI inputs)

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