ISRO – Kasturirangan


Dr K. Kasturirangan, ISRO

“He had the wisdom and managerial skills to convince the government to invest in rockets,” says K. Raghavan, chief architect of ­satellite systems.

If online energies could be harnessed, they’d be ballistic eno­ugh to propel a million rockets. But it does speak of a new buzz: discussions on Quora and elsewhere on how large “our” non-terrestr­ial footprint is. At what the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had managed at a fraction of NASA’s budget. It recently broke Russia’s world record by launching 104 satellites (103 of them nano satellites together weighing just 664 kg) on a single rocket, “shocking” even top Trump admin officials. There was also a trip to Mars “cheaper than an auto ride”. And the moon. Indians in a self-congratulatory orbit about all this would do well to remember the man behind India’s first successful satellite launch vehicle: Dr Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, who headed ISRO for over nine years as chairman before retiring in 2003.

It was a tenure littered with a comet’s tail of milestones: operationalisation of launch vehicles; development of civilian remote sensing, INSAT communication and ocean observation satellites; foundations for the ASTROSAT satellite project; and conceptualisation of moon mission Chandrayaan-1. “Dr Kasturirangan set the direction for ISRO and helped shift the space programme’s focus from internal concerns to national defence,” says Dr Krishnan Raghavan, a US-based satellite systems chief architect, who worked with him in his early ISRO days. “He had the wisdom and managerial skills to convince the government to invest in rockets. Today, the West can’t compete with our ability to make small satellites.”

An astrophysicist, Kasturirangan’s interests include research in high energy X-ray and gamma ray astronomy as well as optical astronomy. Among the awards (Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Officer of the Legion d’honneur) and official positions (chairman, Space Commission; secretary, Department of Space; chancellor, JNU) linked to his name, there’s also that of ex-member, Planning Commission, where he gave his name to a very terrestrial study, the Western Ghats report.

Ref : outlook

From ISRO:

Dr. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan is presently Member of Planning Commission. Dr. Kasturirangan has steered the Indian Space programme gloriously for over 9 years as Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, of Space Commission and Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Space, before laying down his office on August 27, 2003.

He was earlier the Director of ISRO Satellite Centre, where he oversaw the activities related to the development of new generation spacecraft, Indian National Satellite (INSAT-2) and Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS-1A & 1B) as well as scientific satellites.

He was also the Project Director for India’s first two experimental earth observation satellites, BHASKARA-I & II and subsequently was responsible for overall direction of the first operational Indian Remote Sensing Satellite, IRS-1A.

Dr. Kasturirangan took his Bachelor of Science with Honours and Master of Science degrees in Physics from Bombay University and received his Doctorate Degree in Experimental High Energy Astronomy in 1971 working at the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad.

Under his leadership, as Chairman, ISRO, the space programme has witnessed several major milestones including the successful launching and operationalisation of the India’s prestigious launch vehicle, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and more recently, the first successful flight testing of the all important Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

Further, he has also overseen the design, development and launching of the world’s best civilian satellites, IRS-1C and 1D, realization of the second generation and initiation of third generation INSAT satellites, besides launching ocean observation satellites IRS-P3/P4. These efforts have put India as a pre-eminent space-faring nation among the handful of six countries that have major space programmes.

As an Astrophysicist, Dr. Kasturirangan’s interest includes research in high energy X-ray and gamma ray astronomy as well as optical astronomy. He has made extensive and significant contributions to studies of Cosmic x-ray sources, celestial gamma-ray and effect of cosmic x-rays in the lower atmosphere.

Dr. Kasturirangan is a member of several important scientific academies, both within India and abroad. He is presently the President of the Indian Academy of Sciences at Bangalore and General President of the Indian Science Congress.

He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy, National Academy of Sciences of India, Indian National Academy of Engineering, Astronautical Society of India, National Telematics Forum, The Indian Meteorological Society and The Third World Academy of Sciences.

He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunications Engineers, Founder Member of the Astronomical Society of India, Life Member of the Indian Physics Association, Indian Science Congress Association and Indian Society of Remote Sensing and Honorary Fellow of the Aeronautical Society of India and Kerala Academy of Sciences.

He is also a Member of the International Astronomical Union and the International Academy of Astronautics and is a member of its Board of Trustees. He has chaired some of the prestigious international committees, such as, the International Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), Panel for Space Research in Developing countries of COSPAR/ICSU, and the committee meeting at senior official level of UN-ESCAP, that led to the adoption of the “Delhi Declaration” by the Ministers of the region (1999-2000).

He is also the Chairman of the Governing Board of the UN Centre for Space Science & Technology Education (UN-CSSTE), of the Board of Governors of IIT Chennai, of the Governing Council of the Raman Research Institute and Research Council of the National Aerospace Laboratory.

He has won several awards including Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in Engineering, Shri Hari Om Ashram Dr.Vikram Sarabhai Prerit Award in Aerospace, M.P.Birla Memorial Award in Astronomy, Shri M.M.Chugani Memorial Award in Applied Science, H.K.Firodia Award in Science Technology, Rathindra Puraskar by Visvabharati, Santiniketan, Dr.M.N.Saha Birth Centenary Medal for outstanding contributions in the field of Space.

He has been conferred Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan. He has published more than 200 papers, both in international and national journals in the areas of astronomy, space science, space applications and has edited 6 books.

Ref : ISRO



One Response to ISRO – Kasturirangan

  1. It is a wonder Why such eminent personality should not be selected as PRESIDENT OF INDIA.
    Will this comment attract Mr. MODI
    No Politics, but Polytechnics for Good Governance!

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