Sunday, August 2, 2009

'Unsung hero' of Chandrayaan-1

K.S. Jayaraman
Breaking News 24/7

Bangalore - In the nine months India’s Chandrayaan-1 has been circling the moon everyone connected with it has been awarded, rewarded or interviewed on TV, except the scientist whose pioneering work in liquid propulsion was pivotal to the mission’s success. Perhaps it had something to do with the false spying charges under which he was arrested in 1994.

It may seem odd but Nambi Narayanan, who introduced the liquid fuel rocket technology in India, was ignored not only by the media but also by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) that he served for over three decades.

In the early 1970's while A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s team worked on solid motors — that have uses in military missiles — Narayanan was the one who foresaw the need for liquid fuelled engines for ISRO’s future civilian space programmes.

Starting from scratch — and encouraged by then ISRO chairman Satish Dhawan and his successor U.R. Rao — Narayanan worked on liquid propellant motors, first building and successfully testing a 600-kg thrust engine in the mid-1970s and moving on to bigger engines.

Read the posting HERE.

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