New Delhi, August 12
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Thursday said ISRO should be allowed to work as a scientific enterprise as put in place by Vikram Sarabhai shortly after the failure of a GSLV rocket to inject the EOS-03 satellite into the orbit, prompting a sharp response from the government.
Union minister Jitendra Singh, in-charge of the Department of Space, said most “space-related pitfalls” occurred during the Congress rule including the “mysterious death” of senior space scientist Sarabhai.
Singh, who is the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said had Congress refrained from political interference, Sarabhai could have contributed valuably for many more years.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched GSLV-F10 rocket, with an earth observation satellite (EOS-03) on board from Sriharikota spaceport, however, the failure to ignite the cryogenic stage of the launch vehicle prompted the premier space agency to declare that the mission could not be achieved as intended.
Earlier in the day, Singh said the first two stages went off fine, only after that there was a difficulty in cryogenic upper stage ignition. The mission can be rescheduled some time again, he said.
“ISRO has the resilience to bounce back. And it will. However, it should be allowed to function as a scientific and technological enterprise as put in place by Vikram Sarabhai and Satish Dhawan. There is far too much political grandstanding on it now,” Ramesh, who is the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change, tweeted.
Sarabhai is widely regarded as the father of the Indian Space programme. He died in 1971.
Hitting back, Singh said, “Jairam ji, please don’t forget, most of Space related pitfalls, including mysterious midnight death of Vikram Sarabhai, happened during Congress regime. Going by the same analogy, had Congress refrained from political interference, Sarabhai could have contributed valuably for many more years.”