ISRO developing green propulsion for human space mission: K Sivan

ISRO Chairman K Sivan says India needs to ensure that environmental damage is limited by adopting green technologies while focusing on growth.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan on Saturday said the space agency was developing 'green propulsion' for its ambitious human space flight mission, 'Gaganyaan'.

Speaking at the 16th convocation of SRM Institute of Science and Technology, he said it may be adopted for use in every stage of a rocket.

Sivan, also the Secretary, Department of Space, advised new graduates to take up 'calculated risk' in their life as it may safeguard them from 'absolute failure'.

"As India continues to focus on economic growth, it needs to ensure that environmental damage is limited by adopting green technologies. ISRO has made space-grade lithium-ion batteries and this technology is useful for mass adoption of electric vehicle", he said.

On the green propellant, Sivan said, "Even in the rocket propulsion, ISRO is developing green propulsion for its human space flight mission. In future, all the propulsion stages may adopt green propulsion," he said.

According to ISRO, the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV), a trusted workhorse of the space scientists, is a four-stage rocket filled with fuel, which pushes the rocket to ensure that the satellite it carries is placed in the intended orbit.

GSLV, or a geo-stationery launch vehicle (GSLV), is a three-stage rocket with a cryogenic upper stage.

The Bengaluru-headquartered space agency had planned to launch its maiden human space flight mission Gaganyaan by December 2021.

But early this month, ISRO indicated that it was likely to be delayed by one year due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing students through virtual platform, the ISRO chief encouraged them to take up calculated risks as it would safeguard them from 'absolute failure'.

"You may fail, but each failure would provide a valuable lesson. I can say with great confidence that India's space programme has been built on spectacular failures and each failure has resulted in improvements in our system," he said.

Need of the hour: innovations

Asking students to innovate, Sivan said, innovation was not just having great idea on paper.

"Innovation comes with a high risk of failure. You may be called crazy. The initial outcome of innovation may be imperfect. You must realise that you are not failing means you are not trying anything hard," he said.

Referring to the space sector reforms announced by the Centre in June, he said, "the government has already announced space sector reforms for greater participation of non- governmental entities in space activity."

"Our next PSLV (polar satellite launch vehicle) launch will have satellite from startup agencies, which will be the first product of this reform." he said.

On the SRM Satellite 'SRMSAT' launched by ISRO in 2011, he said it was in 'healthy condition' and urged the university to come forward and make use of the space sector reform as announced by the government of India.

"ISRO is very much open to you all. I request SRM to come forward with their innovative idea of making space activities as required by the Government of India. I am sure that SRM will do this work", he said.

The Digital India initiative by the Centre was a key area to leverage and ISRO had already initiated reforms to make digital assets available easily to the industry as well as for startups for making innovative applications in navigation, earth observation as well as disaster management, he said. 

Edited by Teja Lele Desai


Updates from around the world