Space scientist from a star
Oct 20 (IANS) M.Y.S. Prasad, associate director, Satish Dhawan
Space Centre, Sriharikota, has something common with Telugu
movie stars Chiranjeevi and Krishnam Raju. All three are from
Mogaltur village in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
Chiranjeevi and Krishnam Raju are movie stars turned politicians,
Prasad sends rockets towards the stars.
the man in charge of launch operations for India's first lunar
mission that blasts off Wednesday, Prasad, 55, is now busy
checking everything is in place, as the final countdown ticks
is also responsible for launch pad preparation and filling
of the liquid propulsion fuel that will send the polar satellite
launch vehicle (PSLV) into space, carrying aloft India's lunar
of my 33 years with ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation),
I have worked nearly 20 years in developing launch vehicles,"
he told IANS from Sriharikota, India's spaceport, 80 km from
was part of the team that successfully launched India's first
satellite vehicle SLV3.
part of the rocket team, Prasad has contributed significantly
in the areas of avionics systems, payload augmentation and
interfacing and ground station networks.
have reduced the inert weight of PSLV, thereby augmenting
its fuel and payload capability," he said.
played a major role in introducing key technologies into ISRO's
launch vehicles, mainly in Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle
(ASLV), to make them reliable and robust.
a rocket the critical period is the liftoff and the first
20 km when the vehicle gathers momentum to escape the earth's
gravitational pull," he said.
the rocket speeds up from 9 to 15 km per second, it also has
to deal with strong winds in the upper atmosphere.
learning of SLV3 and ASLV while designing the PSLV is that
the first stage has to be well configured," Prasad recalled.
credited the late S.Srinivasan, former director, Vikram Sarabhai
Space Centre, for designing PSLV's first stage which takes
the rocket 50 km above the earth.
is an ISRO all rounder, having worked in various departments
- launch vehicle, satellite design, managing India's geostationary
orbit satellites or communication satellites and also as space
counsellor at Indian embassy in Paris, interacting with major
European space agencies.
the director of the Mission Control Facility (MCF), he was
instrumental in ISRO increasing its transponder lease rentals
by eliminating interference in satellite signals.
For some time, ISRO was losing money as five of its transponders
were not earning their full potential owing to signal disturbances.
studied the issue and on one night we traced the disturbance
to a loose connection in one of the V-Sat terminals located
in Kolkata," Prasad recalled.
He registered for a doctorate during his stint at MCF and
got the Ph.D. for his research on interference in satellite
was also instrumental in facilitating video conferencing between
Indian scientists in Antarctica and their colleagues in Goa.
was a challenging task as heavy equipments had to be moved
from the ship to the place where the Indian camp was located,
with strong winds blowing against," he recalled.
after the Chandrayaan mission, Prasad is sure to become one
more star from the star village Mogaltur.