Interview With ISRO Chairman - AS Kiran Kumar - Part 2


Mr. Kiran Kumar AS
Chairman, Indian Space Research Organization



" We are looking for Venus, possibility of going to Venus. Then we are looking observations at asteroids etc., More and more discussions takes place on what should be the future for interplanetary mission"

Q) What are the commercial opportunity accessible because of National  Space  Act?
These days we don't have any policies, so we need to address various aspects. For example when you put an objects in space ,it belongs to whom who should be responsible for it if some thing happens, because of that, liability is there, if there are damages it causes, what kind of thing is it. Then in space there is also a risk of  people start using it for non civilian application or for non peaceful uses. With  United nations we will have some common discussion for making sure that space is preserved for peaceful uses in future, even commercial actors will be coming what should be their role, what should be the role of the government. And then how the users space should be brought within the country administration so there is a host of issues which need to be addressed.

pic1Satellites in Space
Pic courtesy:NASA -GODDARD.

Q) Will it be useful for space entrepreneurs'
It will be useful for them in the sense that there is definition of do's and don's, like what they can do and what they cannot do such things .

Q) Could you please brief us about chandrayaan-2 and proposed  Mangalyaan-2?
In chandrayyan-1 our primary objective was to find water molecules and also we hosted a number of payloads. In that we had a moon impact probe which descended on to the moon surface in an uncontrolled manner .In chandrayaan-2 our objective is to make an object to descent on to the surface(soft Lander). This is the Lander which we are looking. Then in the Landers there are also rovers which will come out of the Lander, it can move on the surface of the moon and then collect some insitu information and send it back to earth. Another thing we are also doing is water related observations. How to take it to next level can we define something more about processes which are responsible for that water molecule formation on the surface of the moon. So we are building a payload with a wave length which is going up to 5 micron instead of 3 micron in the previous case.MM3 and MQ3 in Chandrayaan was going up to only three microns. Here we are going up to 5 microns. See in any wavelength if you remember there is curve you draw(absorption curve),there will be a  dip and rise. In Chandrayaan -1 we were going only till the dip. Now we are going beyond that also(the entire curve).So we except lot more information on  the phenomenon , processors etc., It is expected that descending to be one meter per second and two meter per second.

Our Rover is Expected to Have a Soft Landing To avoid tumbling effect in the video.

Mangalyan-2 is not yet finalized. It's in the discussion process. We are discussing with various other agencies. It will take final shape in due course of time. We have a body called advisory council, prof. U.R.Rao is the chairman. That committee basically gives the guidelines like what should be our future, scientific study, scientific mission.

Q) Please share your thought process on various upcoming students  satellites being designed in various universities in India. Do you see a  significant influence on student community by these activities?
In the country you need to have capacity to grow, so how the capacity will grow. Capacity will grow only when student start experimenting, learning the various aspects, understanding hardware. Then you will find suddenly some bright idea which could come out, some very different approach to various problem etc., This is a process of developing in the country in  ecosystem ,mechanism where student start taking interest ,so obviously if you have worked on something an object if you have touched that object and that is in space. You will feel great. Same way student satellite etc., Initially the effort what ever is done may not be doing anything great. But gradually they will appreciate And in that institution as the newer and newer students come They will do better and better things.

Q) The Thing which makes you proud to work in ISRO?
Prime aim of ISRO is harnessing space technology for societal use. That means what ever work we do in ISRO has a direct impact on the society. We are able to help them and improve their living style. So this is one key motivating factor which drives us all the time. If we do payload it does some function, like predicting cyclones in earlier days we have lot of deaths due to cyclones. But today practically it doesn't happen because well in advance the administration predicts. Instruments  build in Ahmadabad. Then such instrument have to go in to satellite. Satellite job is to  carry payload, launch vehicle it has to put the satellite in the space. So all the activity we do in the organization finally ends up with specific usage which is beneficial for communication ,for navigation, or for meteorology, for remote sensing(find water potential area for bore well).We also provide information for crop forecasting like what will be the crop yield next march April or when ever the harvesting is done. Because our organization is primarily aiming at addressing the problem that are facing by the country, we feel proud. Scientific mission had made lot of enthusiasm with student community, it is driving them with more and more science. It is told that in this year application for science is more than engineering. In a way we feel we are able to contribute to the countries demands requirements etc., one of the thing is we need people who can talk about, understand and apply their knowledge to the problem that we are facing.

Typical Satellite

Q) How the Constellation will look like for IRNSS?
IRNSS is for regional application. Unlike in other case where you have got different planes and in each plane there are number of satellites. Here all are geostationary and geosynchronous. we have chosen round 5 location in two locations there are two satellite each in the other three location one satellite for each is placed. It's a constellation of seven satellite. Using ground receiver you can able to locate yourselves. In India and about 1500kms around India. Four satellites are already up in space so even without any external satellite we can determine our position independently using our own system. With other three coming up which we indent to complete by March. We now working on receivers, then working on bringing out chip sets for front end .(for digital and RF). So that entrepreneurs' can make use of this devices and bring in applications.


Approximate IRNSS Coverage

Q) Where do you see ISRO after 10 years in terms interplanetary  missions?
We are looking for Venus, possibility of going to Venus. Then we are looking observations at asteroids etc., More and more discussions takes place on what should be the future for interplanetary mission. Some of the development requirement for this we should be able to do with electric propulsion. Once we are able to get some master in electric propulsion. Even much deeper space , deep space mission becomes much more feasible.

Courtesy: maps of


Link to Part-1

****End of Part 2****


Ms. Kokila
Intern, Indian Space Station


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