On Somanath withdrawing his autobiography

Excerpt from The Hindu, November 4, 2023: S. Somanath, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told The Hindu that he’s withdrawing the publication of his memoir, Nilavu Kudicha Simhangal, penned in Malayalam. The decision followed a report in the Malayala Manorama on Saturday that quoted excerpts from the book suggesting K. Sivan, former ISRO chairman … Read more

India’s science leadership

On October 17, the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) introduced a reading module for middle-school students called “Chandrayaan Utsav”. It was released by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in the presence of S. Somanath, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, and claims that the Chandrayaan-3 achievement was great but not the … Read more

Gaganyaan: The ingredient is not the recipe

The nose cone bearing the spacecraft of the Chandrayaan-3 mission ahead of being fit to the launch vehicle.

For all the hoopla over indigeneity – from ISRO chairman S. Somanath exalting the vast wisdom of ancient Indians to political and ideological efforts to cast modern India as the world’s ‘vishwaguru’ – the pressure vessel of the crew module that will one day carry the first Indian astronauts to space won’t be made in … Read more

The shadows of Chandrayaan 2

When in September 2019 the surface component of the Chandrayaan 2 mission failed, with the ‘Vikram’ lander crashing on the moon’s surface instead of gently touching down, there was a sense in all public spaces and conversations that the nation as a whole was in some grief. Until Wednesday, I couldn’t remember the excitement, anticipation, … Read more

A request to ISRO about Chandrayaan 3

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has said its launch window for the Chandrayaan 3 mission is July 12-19. For now, the mission is expected to lift off on July 14 (at 2.35 pm IST). Chandrayaan 3’s mission is the same as that of its predecessor, Chandrayaan 2, with some marginal additions. It has the … Read more