India should join the race for space benefits: ISRO

Bengaluru: With several private players entering human space exploration in other countries, India must join the race for space benefits, a top space official said on Saturday.

“Several private players are entering the space field because of the potential use of human explorations to bring the best part of space to Earth. Definitely, India cannot keep quiet and must also join, as otherwise, every other country will take away the benefits,” said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan at an aerospace event here.

Delivering the Air Chief Marshal L.M. Katre Memorial Lecture, Sivan said the time had come to marry an aircraft and a rocket as the future of aerospace industry would have an aircraft with the complexity of a rocket.

“We need all the sectors — the state and the industry — to come together for the future of aerospace industry. It is going to be a combined effort of the ISRO, Indian Air Force (IAF), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and others,” Sivan added.

The future manned space missions that ISRO is aiming at will require the efforts of the space agency, HAL, as well as the IAF, he said.

“Convergence of different disciplines like HAL, ISRO and IAF can do wonders for the country,” the space scientist added.

“Through laser propulsions, studies show that spacecrafts can transport a man to Mars from Earth within three days. If we put in the efforts, we can achieve many things. Our efforts are towards bringing in innovative transportation systems,” he added.

The ISRO is also looking to tap Helium which is present in abundance on the Moon through its future missions.

“It will be very useful for nuclear power generation, while being clean power. There will be no nuclear waste generated, thereby avoiding protests like that against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu,” Sivan added.

The lecture is jointly held by state-run city-based HAL and Air Force Association in honour of L.M. Katre, who was a former IAF chief.

Katre, who hailed from Mangaluru, was also the former Chairman of HAL, credited for laying the foundation for the development of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv and the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas.

HAL Chairman T. Suvarna Raju and President of Karnataka Air Force Association retired Air Marshal P.P Rajkumar were others who were present in the event.