There is a feeling that very little happened in ISRO in 2021, acknowledges its chairman K Sivan

07:40 PM Jan 03, 2022 | PTI |

Bengaluru: Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K Sivan has acknowledged there is a feeling that very little happened in ISRO in 2021 with the last few months being a lull due to the impact of the coronavirus.


During the previous year, the impact of the lockdowns was still evident and activities had to be carried out while following the COVID-19 guidelines and protocols of the government, he said.

”There is a feeling that very little happened in ISRO during 2021.

That feeling is primarily due to less number of launches,” Sivan said in a new year message posted on the ISRO website. ”The last few months were a lull period for ISRO, due to corona”.

”However, as Chairman, ISRO, I am extremely proud that all of you have made very significant contributions in continuing the operational missions, conceiving many new missions, undertaking many technology development initiatives, and planning for the next decade of space activities,” he told the employees of the space agency. Last year, ISRO had only two successful PSLV missions, including the one dedicated commercial mission by its commercial arm New Space India Limited (NSIL).


GSLV F10 mission failed due to cryogenic stage anomaly. A national-level failure analysis committee was constituted and it has identified the rootcause and given its recommendations, according to Sivan. Necessary design changes are being incorporated to improve the robustness of the systems concerned, he added. In the space application domain, ISRO completed a geospatial energy map of India, desertification and land degradation atlas of India, dissemination of hydro-informatics products under the national hydrology project and provided support towards disaster management activities. In the navigation area, more than 30 NavIC-enabled mobile handsets have been released in the Indian market.

Also, all the major mobile chipset manufacturers have released NavIC-enabled chipsets, he said. He said three new space science missions are in the pipeline — ‘DISHA’, a twin aeronomy satellite mission, Venus mission and ISRO-CNES joint science mission ‘TRISHNA’. TRISHNA mission is meant for accurate mapping of land surface temperatures. This mission would be the benchmark for providing temperature data at best resolution and repeatability even globally, Sivan said.

India’s flagship GAGANYAAN project has completed the design phase and has entered into the testing phase. ”There is a directive to launch the first unmanned mission before the 75th anniversary of India’s independence (August 15, 2022) and all the stake-holders are putting their best effort to meet the schedule. I am sure that we will be able to meet this target,” Sivan said.

On space sector reforms, Sivan, also Secretary in the Department of Space, noted that the government has already approved them for expanding the footprint of space industry not only within India but also globally.

”Towards this, many policies have been revised after due process to accommodate the reforms,” he added. Sivan said ISRO has formulated the decadal plan for the Indian space programme for the country as a whole. ”The decadal plan is formulated by keeping the ethos of space sector reforms to enable the national space sector which includes ISRO, academia and private sector. This is to foster all-round growth in operational missions, launch services, science missions, technology demonstration missions and new technology development initiatives,” he said.

Effort has also been made to map the future space sector activities with growth drivers and disruptive technologies, Sivan said. Emphasis has been paid to identify and develop the technologies of the future especially the disruptive technologies which may make the existing space systems obsolete.


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