We are at par with China: ISRO chairman on space race

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Jan 18, 2019, 02:15 PM(IST)

File photo: ISRO Chairman K Sivan. Photograph:( Agencies )

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Speaking to WION's correspondent Siddhant Sibal, ISRO chairman spoke on Gaganyaan and ISRO's focus for 2019.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Kailasavadivoo Sivan has said when it comes to India versus China debate in the space sector, India is at par with China. His comments have come days after China's launch of Chang'e 4 lunar probe on the dark side of the moon and ahead of India's Chandrayaan-2 mission which will be launched later this year. 

Speaking to our correspondent Siddhant Sibal, the chairman also spoke on Gaganyaan and ISRO's focus for 2019.

WION: What will be your focus this year?

K Sivan: This year we mainly want to make use of the children, students and we want them to be more and more aware of ISRO's programmes. We want to bring students for the young scientist programme. Student satellite Kalam SAT is being launched. Along with this outreach programme, we have incubation centres. These are for spreading the wings of ISRO. Along with this, we have priority for Gaganyaan. We have 32 missions to be completed this year. 

WION: We are going to launch Chandrayaan-2 this year. Weeks ago China landed Rover on the dark side of the moon. What is the difference?

K Sivan: The Chinese have landed on the dark side of the moon. We are going to land on the light side of the moon. Only thing is where we are landing, nobody else has gone. Going closer to the South pole, which nobody has gone. We expect a lot of science available for that.

WION: Your reaction to China versus India space debate?

K Sivan: Regarding the tech part. We are at par with them.

WION: How are we helping the South Asian region?

K Sivan: South Asia, we have one South Asia satellite. We are giving one transponder free of cost to each country. Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Maldives are making use of this. Happy to note they are using satellite for the benefit of their country

WION: On Gaganyaan, are we taking help of countries? 

K Sivan: Gaganyaan, many countries are ready to help us. France and Russia are ready to help. We will make use of everybody's expertise to our benefit. NASA is also ready to help us. We want to make use of everyone's help for maximum benefit

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