Many thoughts and ideas occupied the mind of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the legendary aerospace scientist and former President of India.
Among them was the pursuit of knowledge, particularly in the sciences, and the future of this country driven by young minds.
In the spirit of Kalam’s vision, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has announced that it will launch multiple student-driven projects and other research endeavours to expand its footprint across India, reports the Press Trust of India.
“ISRO is going to launch a ‘young scientist’ programme wherein three students from [each of the] 29 states, and 7 union territories will be selected based on their science projects. These students, mostly from Class VIII and IX, will be taken to selected ISRO centres and enrolled for a one-month programme. The students will be trained and allowed to interact with senior space scientists. They will be taken to R&D laboratories and also be given an opportunity to make small satellites. If their satellites are of good quality, they will be launched,” said ISRO chairman K Sivan, speaking to the Times of India.
Along the lines of NASA’s student programme, all expenses for this programme will be taken care of by ISRO. The application process for the project is expected to begin in March. Meanwhile, ISRO will launch a student-built satellite called Kalamsat this year.
“ISRO is going to launch a student satellite, Kalamsat. PSLVC44, a new variant of PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle), will carry Kalamsat and an earth imaging satellite, Microsat-R, of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on January 2. Kalamsat is the world’s lightest and smallest satellite built by a student start-up from Chennai and is named after the former President,” said K Sivan to the national publication.
This new variant of the PSLV is expected to go beyond merely fulfilling the task of launching the satellite. It will also establish a platform for multiple experiments in space—a feat not achieved anywhere in the world.
Thus far, the space agency has launched nine student satellites. Beyond these endeavours, however, the ISRO will set up six incubation centres and a further six research centres across the country to help facilitate the growth of young scientific minds across this country.
One incubation centre was launched last year in Tripura, while another came up in Jalandhar. Next in line are Trichy, Indore, Rourkela and Nagpur. The research centres, meanwhile, are coming up at the NITs/IITs in Varanasi, Patna, Kanyakumari, Udaipur, Guwahati and Kurukshetra, reports ToI.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)