“It gives me immense pleasure to address you all at U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), named in memory of the legendary scientist, Prof. U R Rao. Naming this centre after him is indeed a befitting tribute to Prof. U R Rao who envisioned the importance of satellite technology during the formative years of ISRO and gave impetus to ISRO as its Chairman.
ISRO is the pride of the nation and respected globally for its outstanding achievements in the field of space research. Over the years, ISRO has made an invaluable contribution to the nation’s progress by building more than 100 state-of-the-art satellites for various applications and also establishing operational launch vehicle systems like PSLV and GSLV.
I am happy to note that the foundational principles laid by Prof. Vikram A Sarabhai and Prof. Satish Dhawan continue to guide ISRO and its programmes. Today, the Indian space programme is focused on key areas like Space Transportation System, Space Infrastructure, Space Applications, Capacity Building and Human Space Flight.
Establishing operational satellite-based system for the nation is one of the key benefits of space research. URSC, one of the lead centres of ISRO is engaged in design, development and realization of satellites to meet the national requirements. I am glad to note that this satellite centre has grown from strength to strength since its inception in 1972. Today, in its 50th Year of existence, URSC is relentlessly pursuing its mission of providing operational satellites, scientific missions, exploratory missions and Deep Space Missions.
I am glad that there are 53 operational satellites of ISRO in orbit providing valuable services to the nation, especially in areas like telecommunication, broadcasting, meteorology, remote sensing, navigation and space science.
I am happy to note that India has become a world leader in the niche area of satellite-based remote sensing services, which commenced with the launch of IRS-1A in the year 1988.
Undoubtedly, the remote sensing satellite data and images have become indispensable tools in enhancing efficiency and meeting the developmental needs in various areas including agriculture, forestry, oceanography, infrastructure planning, energy and environment, water resource and development planning. I am sure that ISRO is working towards providing continuity of services and planning appropriate follow-on satellites in consultation with user agencies.
Dear sisters and brothers,
The work you are doing has had a profound impact on the lives of people. The data from the meteorological payloads operating in various satellites facilitate forecasting of weather including drought, severe rainfalls and cyclones. I am sure ISRO will continue to conceive and build advanced on-board systems to deliver the required data. This will further improve weather forecasting which will help farmers and enable us to better manage natural calamities.
The operational fleet of INSAT/GSAT communication satellites is an integral part of the day-to-day life of the people of our nation. This satellite-based communication backbone provides connectivity to cities and rural areas alike, enabling the economic activity of the nation. These communication satellites, including the recently realized High Throughput Satellites (HTS) are part of the country’s economic security infrastructure.
I must also compliment ISRO and all the scientists for the establishing and putting in operation NaVIC, an indigenous regional navigation satellite system. It is a significant achievement. The NavIC system which provides position, velocity and timing services has great potential for app developers.
ISRO should actively pursue the expansion of NaVIC system in terms of areas covered, services offered and its effective utilization to meet the national requirements. At the same time, we should also push for global use of NaVIC.
I am indeed happy to note that this Centre is working to build next generation of IRNSS satellites with indigenous atomic clock and enhancements to navigation services. I am also happy to note that the GPS Aided Geo-Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) services from GSAT satellites are available for air traffic navigation.
By achieving their objectives of orbiting around the moon and Mars in their maiden attempts, Chandrayaan-1 and Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) have captured the imagination of the nation and received international appreciation. Similarly, Astrosat, India’s first multi-wavelength space observatory mission has received accolades for its scientific findings from international astronomy community.
I am glad to know that the URSC is working on Chandrayaan-3 for a soft landing on Moon and Aditya-L1 mission to study the Sun by next year.
I was impressed by your presentation that outlined your future plans for Inorbit Docking Mission Spadex, Venus orbiter mission, follow-on mission to Mars, and collaborative efforts with other space agencies.
Among the 30 satellites that the centre is working on, I have seen a few of them in the clean room today. The state-of-the-art-facilities established at URSC over the past five decades stand as a testimony for the professionalism of the team. The satellites and the facilities of URSC are outcomes from the persistent Research & Development (R&D) efforts of the team and I am really impressed with your work. I am equally pleased to know that this centre is also playing a key role in the development of Orbital Module of India’s Human Spaceflight Programme - Gaganyaan Mission.
Dear sisters and brothers,
India has huge potential to expand its footprint globally in the space sector. Globally, there are lots of opportunities in the space sector. Every Indian institution in the space arena should strive towards leveraging these opportunities and enhance our global share. I would urge the Indian Space Association, which was launched recently by Prime Minister, Shri Narendrabhai Modi, to contribute in a big way to make India totally self-reliant and a global leader in the space arena.
It is very appropriate that ISRO takes a leadership role in incubating Indian private entities by enabling them to participate in space-related activities as envisioned in the recent space sector reforms.
I am sure the impressive track record of ISRO in building the knowledge base and space assets over the years will be leveraged to multiply the benefits to the nation with the participation of private players.
My visit to URSC has been truly memorable and I must share with you my deep appreciation for the outstanding contribution of ISRO and this centre towards advancing space science and harnessing its immense potential for national development.
My sincere and heartiest congratulations to Dr. Sivan and his brilliant team and to each one of you for what you have accomplished so far and best wishes for what you plan to do in the coming years!