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Kudos to ISRO

A billion hearts skipped a beat as Chandrayaan-3 approached the surface of the moon, and, then, at 06:04PM IST, at touchdown, a billion hearts sang in unison—“We have landed on the moon” (‘Sunrise on the moon’, September 3).


Kudos to Team ISRO for the remarkable achievement. I cannot imagine the number of man-hours put in by everyone—both within and outside ISRO—to accomplish the extremely complex mission.


It was visionaries and pioneers like Vikram Sarabhai and Satish Dhawan who laid down the road map for ISRO. Team ISRO has done them and India proud.


Sharath Ahuja,

Retired technical officer, IISc, Bengaluru.


I congratulate THE WEEK on bringing out the cover story on Chandrayaan-3. In fact, the forerunner to the PSLV, GSLV was the SLV.


I still remember the day when ISRO launched its first SLV, on August 10, 1979, from Sriharikota. Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was the project director. I was in Sriharikota—in the tracking radar site, representing the microwave group of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, which was involved in the radar project. I witnessed the launch live. The excitement was palpable. The atmosphere was electrifying—scientists, technicians and many others came and went, vehicles buzzed, and there were meetings—it looked nothing less than a war front!


The launch was scheduled for early morning. We held our breath when the final countdown started. There was a deafening silence. Once the SLV took off, we tracked it and sent signals to the control centre. All seemed well, but a few minutes later, we knew something was wrong. Being in tracking radar we were the first to know that the mission had failed. We were heartbroken, dejected, and laden with negative emotions.


Soon, people who were present at different locations were asked to assemble at the guest house. Satish Dhawan and Kalam gave us inspiring speeches that lifted our morale, albeit a bit. But the media, public and all others rubbed salt into the wound by ridiculing us. When ISRO buses came out, they were booed and stones were pelted. The media was at its worst. One publication said, “Diwali rockets could go further!” Another said, “The money spent on the project could have benefited many.” Political parties were no better. I came to our home town the next day, and was not spared. We became a laughing stock.


A year later on July 18, 1980, the same project director and team delivered the first successful SLV. The rest, as they say, is history.


I am sharing with the readers two entry passes for the first two SLV flights.


Dilip Gurjar,

On email.


It is time for Indians everywhere on the globe to celebrate. Sending a successful mission to moon is no mean feat. This mission will boost India’s image at multiple levels. First, India has found a place in the coveted club of the space elite. Second, ISRO’s mettle can neither be doubted nor questioned. The momentous occasion will be cherished by generations to come.


This will further strengthen the global image of India and Indian scientists. As a nation of 140 crore we need many occasions to celebrate. Here is anticipating many more of such achievements by ISRO, and such celebrations.


Nandini Rastogi,

On email.


The successful attempt to land on the south pole of the moon has inspired young people in the country to have a broader vision. When other countries failed to reach the south pole, India worked hard, in silence, not forgetting the lessons from Chandrayaan—2. The dreams of billions of Indians are on the moon along with Pragyan and Vikram.


Daran Cardoza,

On email.


The information about Chandrayaan-3 in your cover story was very informative and interesting. It is a remarkable achievement for ISRO that may pave the way for future manned missions, and even the establishment of human bases on the moon.


Lloyd Lobo,

On email.


August 23 has become an unforgettable day for all of us. Kudos to the untiring efforts and commitments of all scientists in ISRO.


Sachidananda Satpathy,

On email.


Humble legend

You aptly called Viswanathan Anand a humble legend; the interview with Anand was interesting (‘This is the golden generation of Indian chess’, September 3). It is only because of Anand that we have so many talented chess players in the country. There should be a global chess league in the future, in the likes of the English Premier League and the Indian Premier League.


We should also encourage young people to play chess whenever they find time, as it would give sufficient exercise to their brain, and improve cognitive skills.


THE WEEK has always dedicated so many pages to sporting talents. Very few publications have done the same. R. Praggnanandhaa is the next Anand. By sharing so many details about him you are in a way honouring Praggnanandhaa, and thereby encouraging so many youngsters to take up sports as a career option. Thank you.


Pankaj Tyagi,

On email