Chandigarh: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has earned Rs 5,600 crores through launch missions over three years, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday as he opened the Kalpana Chawla Centre for Research in Space Science and Technology here.
“So far India has successfully sent 342 satellites in space for 34 countries like the US, Japan, Israel, France, Spain, the UAE and Singapore. This is a big deal,” said Rajnath Singh.
The Kalpana Chawla Centre for Research in Space Science and Technology has been set up in Chandigarh University to train students in space science and satellite development.
Rajnath Singh said that if India’s education, knowledge and science were to reach the world stage, and if the country is to be made a ‘knowledge economy, the public and private sectors have to work together.
“We are fast-moving in that direction,” he added.
He said that when ISRO was established, the US and the former USSR were already far ahead in space missions. “It was difficult for us to carve a niche in space.”
“For a mission like Mangalyaan, where the US and Russia had to make five-six attempts even after putting in about 10 times more costly as compared to us, India was successful in the first attempt,” he said.
Underlining the importance of the space sector in today’s times, Rajnath Singh said was deeply connected with mapping, imaging and connectivity facilities, speedy transportation, weather forecast, disaster management as well as border security.
He added that it played a crucial role in keeping the world connected during the Covi-19 pandemic, from testing to data transfer and analyses.
Remembering India-born astronaut Kalpana Chawla, the Minister described her as a symbol of women empowerment who took a flight beyond imagination.
He also launched a scholarship, worth Rs 10 crore, for the wards of defence personnel of the three services.