Chandrayaan-2 not end of story, another landing attempt in near future: ISRO chief

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Chandrayaan-2 is not the end of the story about the country’s attempts to conquer the moon, and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will attempt another soft landing “in the near future”, the space agency’s chief K Sivan said.

Sivan, who was in the national capital to attend IIT Delhi’s golden jubilee convocation said a number of advanced satellite launches are planned in the coming months.

"You all have heard about Chandrayaan-2 mission. On the technology part – yes, we could not achieve soft landing, but all the systems functioned until 300 metres from the moon’s surface.

“Very valuable data is available to set things right. Let me assure that ISRO will pull all its experience, knowledge and technical prowess to set things right and demonstrate soft landing in near the future,” Sivan said in his address at the golden jubilee convocation of IIT Delhi.

Responding to a query if the ISRO would attempt another landing on the moon’s south pole, he replied, “definitely”.

“Chandrayaan-2 is not the end of story. Our plans on Aditya L1 solar mission, human spaceflight programme are on track. A large number of advance satellite launches are planned in the coming months,” the ISRO chief said.

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) will make its maiden flight sometimes in December or January. Testing of 200-tonne semi-cryo engine is expected to begin shortly while work is on to provide NavIC signals on mobile phones, which will open the path to develop large number of applications for societal needs, he said.

“We are working on a plan of action on how to go ahead for Vikram Lander’s landing,” Sivan said.

Asserting that the IITs are the “holy grail” of technical education in India, Sivan said when he graduated from IIT Bombay more than three decades ago, the job scenario was not as vibrant as today.

“Area of specialisation limited career options. Today, the options are many. There is an added volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity about the global economy. However, you all are much smarter and aware about these scenarios than the older generations,” he said.

The ISRO chief advised the students to chose the career options wisely.

"Keep in mind that, there is only one life and there are many career options. You all need to identify your passion and natural talent and align your career. Choose an industry that reflects your passion and interests. Rather than choosing a job for money, choose it for your happiness.

“Be good at what you do. Remember, passion is not the only ingredient needed for success. You also need skills and strengths. You might be passionate about music or cricket. But, do you have the talent and skill set to become successful in extremely competitive fields like music or sports?” he asked.

One does not need to be a topper, super genius or have excellent grades to achieve a successful career, Sivan said.

“All you need is focus by eliminating distractions and time-wasting activities. And for god’s sake, don’t be a copycat. Just because, it is fashionable to be a stand-up comedian, can you be a comedian? The trick is to strive the right balance between what you love and what you are good at. You can always be passionate about music and be a competent engineer, together,” he added.

Before the convocation address, the ISRO chief signed a memorandum of understanding with IIT Delhi for setting up a Space Technology Cell (STC) at the institute. With this, IIT Delhi will join the league of other premiere institutions such as IISc Bangalore, IIT Bombay, and others where the STCs have been set up to play a major role in taking up the space technology research and applications to the newer heights.

A total of 1,217 postgraduate and 825 undergraduate students were awarded degrees at the convocation besides the distinguished alumni awards.

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