AA Edit | Isro powering India’s dreams

The Asian Age.

Opinion, Edit

Indians see Isro’s achievements as the country reclaiming its rightful ‘great power’ status.

ISRO successfully tested the Gaganyaan Service Module Propulsion System (SMPS) – which caters to the requirements of the Orbital Module – at IPRC, Mahendragiri. (PTI Photo)

Since Independence, India might have made strides in several areas, such as pharmaceuticals, information technology and agriculture. Until a few months ago, we might have had one of our compatriots in the top five ranks of the world’s 5 richest. Nevertheless, none of them received the kind of adulation from Indians as Isro scientists did.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is shining bright with an aura for two reasons: One, people still consider sky and rocketry awe-inspiring and two, Isro tells us about the unflinching determination of a few underfunded men and women to reach the sky and beyond, braving all the odds and insults, and technology apartheid that India was subjected to by the Western elite.

At 8.45 am on October 21, a computer glitch put a hold on a lift-off that was intended to test an experimental crew escape module, which was crucial for India’s Gaganyaan project that plans to send ‘gagannauts’ — the Indian equivalent of the West’s astronauts and Russia’s cosmonauts and the Chinese taikonauts — into space. Anyone in this situation, when more than a billion eyes were watching, would have cracked under the burden of expectation. Isro members, however, rectified the glitch in just 45 minutes and successfully completed their mission.

Although most space projects have dual-use technology, which could be adopted for offensive or defensive purposes, Indians see Isro’s achievements as the country reclaiming its rightful ‘great power’ status. Indians, therefore, consider Isro scientists as real heroes. The Saturday event has re-established India’s trust in them and capability. The renewed focus on Isro’s achievements could inspire millions of young minds in India to take up the study of science. Even if several thousand of them could successfully make a mark in their chosen field of study, nobody could stop India from emerging as a superpower.