Expressing his deep love and relationship with the rocket, ISRO Chairman S Somanath said on Saturday that he considers the launch vehicle as a child.
Somanath said he enjoyed the launch of Chandrayaan-3’s first stage on Friday, adding that he went through the entire data and was amazed by “how beautiful the rocket was”.
ISRO on Friday successfully launched its third moon mission, this time a more complicated 41-day voyage to reach the lunar south pole where no other country has gone before. The space agency said the technically challenging soft landing on the lunar surface, which Chandrayaan-2 could not achieve, is planned for 5.47 pm on August 23.
Addressing the 12th convocation of IIT Hyderabad in neighboring Sangareddy district, Somanath said, “As an engineer and a scientist, I have a love for rockets. I think of a rocket like a child, seeing its birth, its growth, its problems of growth, its emotions and its mechanics and Develop a deep understanding of dynamics and its life.”
Referring to the previous Chandrayaan-2 launch, he said it had about 2,000 measurements that were integrated in the form of graphs and curves.
He added that ISRO converts thousands of measurements into curves and studies models and explains how it works.
“For example, the last Chandrayaan rocket, we had about 2,000 measurements and eventually they came to us as graphs, curves. Like a doctor looking at an ECG, we look at these graphs. We make a connection with those curves and graphs and we see the ups and downs. Understand exactly what its speed is… how it’s moving. It’s very interesting to understand a machine and get a feel for it,” he said.
Regarding human space travel, he said, everyone asks him why people should travel in space and explore the planets and why robots can’t do this.
One disadvantage, he said, is that robots lack sensory perception and emotions that come out of experience and the resulting decision-making process. He quickly added: “I believe this gap will close soon.”
Somanath opined that if there was a way to electrically integrate external electronic sensors with the human nervous system, to receive and process the signals seen and felt, mankind would be one step closer to the integration of machine with life (man).
“Can we operate systems with electrical signals generated by thought and thus external mechanical and electrical devices? Then, you can actually control a robot or a machine with your thought process,” he said.
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“Further growth in this domain will enable all of a robot’s sensors to be integrated with humans in some form to understand what the robot senses and thus achieve remote sensing capabilities. So, you’re actually creating a replica of yourself. For example, an event, for humans, needs to travel somewhere. No. So, you can experience the world including outer space and all other planets sitting inside your house.
“I believe, the human form will one day evolve into an integrated system of electrical sensors and devices with the human brain. So, no more human physical body will be needed,” he felt.
Somanath said when ISRO launched human spaceflight, they needed doctors to study metabolism and the human body to survive the extreme conditions of flight, including high acceleration and vibration sensitivity, weightlessness and prolonged exposure to light radiation. “We are currently developing and designing a test set-up to evaluate them”.
He said, the growth of material science, microelectronics, quantum technology, data science, AI and ML, biotechnology will make a human life much better than what we experience today.
Harnessing the power of technology is the solution to challenging problems like poverty, malnutrition, national security, education and jobs for all.
“So, we believe that you (IIT graduates) are the torchbearers of the future, especially those who are going to create future technology and future innovation. You hold the key. You are not alone in the generation of people who are graduating, coming out. Among these premier institutions It has the power to change the destiny of this nation,” the ISRO chief added.
IIT Hyderabad Board of Governors Chairman BVR Mohan Reddy, IIT Hyderabad Director Prof BS Murthy were among the dignitaries present.