NASA asked ISRO chief, why don’t you sell your space technology to US?

The ISRO chief said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi called him and thanked him when he told that ‘India is on the moon.’

ISRO Chairman S Somnath on Sunday said experts involved in developing complex rocket missions in the US, after observing the developmental activities of Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, suggested that India share space technology with them.

Times have changed and India is capable of making the best equipment and rockets and that is why Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opened up the space sector to private players, he said at an event here.

Somnath was addressing students today at a program organized by the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Foundation to commemorate the 92nd birth anniversary of the late former President.

Our country is a very powerful country. did you understand? Our level of knowledge and intelligence in the country is one of the best in the world, the ISRO chief said, adding that in Chandrayaan-3, when we designed and developed the spacecraft, we invited experts from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA. “JPL, which does all the rockets and the most difficult missions.”

He further said, about 5-6 people from NASA-JPL came (to ISRO headquarters) and we explained to them about Chandrayaan-3. This was before the soft landing (on August 23). We explained how we designed it and how our engineers built it… and how we would land on the moon’s surface, and he just said, ‘No comment. Everything is going to be good.

JPL is a research and development laboratory funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and managed by the California Institute of Technology (CALTECH) in the United States.

One thing they (American space experts) also said was, ‘Look at the scientific instruments, they are very cheap. These are very easy to make and are high-tech. How did you make it? They were asking, ‘Why don’t you sell it to America,’ he said.

“So you (students) can understand how times have changed. We are able to make the best equipment, best equipment and best rockets in India. That is why our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opened up the space sector,” he said

India successfully reached near the lunar south pole with the Chandrayaan-3 lander on August 23, making it the fourth country after the US, China and the erstwhile Soviet Union to achieve the feat of reaching the lunar surface.

Somnath further told the students, “Now we are asking you people to come and make rockets, satellites and make our country more powerful in space technology. Not just ISRO, everyone can do this in space. There is a rocket manufacturing company in Chennai called Agnikul and another in Hyderabad called Skyroot. At least in India, there are five companies making rockets and satellites today.

Appealing to the young audience present at the venue to follow Kalam’s ideology, Somnath said that the most powerful tool is to dream and “Kalam sir told you that you should dream while you are awake, not at night.”

Does anyone have such dreams? Does anyone want to go to the moon? When we landed Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the Moon, I told the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) that India is on the Moon. And he asked when are you going to send an Indian to the moon. So, some of you sitting here will do that work. Some of you will design rockets that will go to the moon,” he said.

And at the time of launch of Chandrayaan-10, one of you will be sitting inside the rocket and possibly a girl will also be there. A girl astronaut will leave from India and then land on the Moon (in the Chandrayaan-10 mission), he said amid applause from the students.

Describing Kalam as “inspirational in all the work he did”, Somnath said, “Kalam had said that power is unlimited and each of us has to find that power within ourselves.

He said, it is our responsibility that every one of us contributes to nation building. And India will be a powerful country. In which area will we be strong? We will be strong in the field of technology. He said, because only if you have technology then others will respect you.

Referring to his recent participation in a space conference, Somnath said everyone from NASA and space agencies of Europe, China was congratulating him for the success of Chandrayaan-3 mission.