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Blue Trousers And A Heavy Payload

K. Radhakrishnan mixes the personal and the professional admirably. But his ISRO is a sanitised one and its inner workings remain hidden.

Blue Trousers And A Heavy Payload
Photograph by Getty Images
Blue Trousers And A Heavy Payload
outlookindia.com
2017-01-07T15:01:50+05:30

“MOM never disappoints”, was how Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the scientists of the Indian Space Rese­arch Organisation at the successful insertion of the maiden Mars Orbit Mission (MOM) into the Martian orbit. September 24, 2014, at  07.47 IST, the spacecraft Mangalyaan star­ted orbiting the Red Planet and 12 minutes later, the signal was received at the Mission Control Centre.

It was indeed a remarkable achievement by any standard. With this success, India joined an elite club of three—Russia, the US and the European Space Agency—to have put a spacecraft into the Martian orbit. Noteworthily, it has been able to do it in its  first attempt and at a fraction of the cost of missions by other nations. The total cost was about Rs 450 crore (US $75 million).

The ‘Man behind the Mangalyaan Mission’ was  ISRO chairman Dr. K. Rad­hakrishnan. An engineer and a management graduate, he has been a career ISRO man. Joining as a technical assistant-c in 1971, he rose through the ranks and its various...

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