Software Images icon An illustration of two photographs. Images Donate icon An illustration of a heart shape Donate Ellipses icon An illustration of text ellipses. EMBED for wordpress. Want more? One day, my design teacher, Prof. I offered a dozen excuses for the future. I finally pleaded for sat with Prof.
Sponder for the photograph. There I worked on engine overhauling as part of withdrawn. I could see no other way out but to finish the task as I had a team. Hands-on work on aircraft engine overhauling was very been instructed.
That night, I remained at the drawing board, skipping educative. When a principle learnt in the classroom is borne out by dinner. On Sunday morning, I was very near completion, when unexpectedly running into an old friend among a crowd of strangers.
Srinivasan HAL, I worked on the overhauling of both piston and turbine engines. Coming straight from the gymkhana, The hazy concepts of gas dynamics and diffusion processes in the he was still in his tennis outfit and had dropped in to see my progress.
After examining my work, Prof. Srinivasan hugged me affectionately I was also trained in radial engine-cum-drum operations. I did calibrations of a fixed- pitch fan fitted to a super-charged engine. I opened up pressure and acceleration-cum-speed control systems, and air starter supply systems of turbo-engines.
Getting to understand feathering, un-feathering and 3 reversing of propeller engines was very interesting. The demonstration of the delicate art of beta blade angle control by HAL technicians still lingers in my memory.
They had neither studied in major universities, nor were they merely implementing what their engineer-in-charge was suggesting. They had been working hands-on for years and this had given them something like an intuitive feel for the work.
T Two alternative opportunities for employment, both close to my long- hrough the window of the compartment, I watched the standing dream of flying, presented themselves before me when I came countryside slip past. From a distance, the men in the fields in out of HAL as a graduate aeronautical engineer. I sat glued to the window. Almost I applied for both. The interview calls arrived from both the places almost everywhere, people were engaged in some activity which had a rhythm simultaneously.
The boy from the streams. Occasionally, a child would appear and wave at the train. Coromandel Coast took a train to the North of India. My destination was more than km away, and was to be my first encounter with It is astonishing how the landscape changes as one moves northwards. The rich and fertile plains of the river Ganga and its numerous tributaries have invited invasion, turmoil, and change.
The tenth century brought Muslims, who later mingled with the local people and became an integral part of this country. One empire gave way to another. Religious conquests continued. All this time, the part of India south of the Tropic of Cancer remained largely untouched, safe behind the shield of the Vindhya and Satpura mountain ranges.
The Narmada, Tapti, Mahanadi, Godavari, and Krishna rivers had woven a net of almost unassailable protection for the tapering Indian peninsula. To bring me to Delhi, my train had crossed all these geographical impediments through the power of scientific advancement. I did well at the interview. Then I proceeded to Dehra as you can rely upon the eternally unbroken promise of sunrise At the Selection Spring. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear—How true! Here Perhaps they were looking for physical fitness and an articulate manner.
You are not I could only finish ninth in the batch of 25 examined to select eight destined to become an Air Force pilot. What you are destined to become officers for commissioning in the Air Force. I was deeply disappointed. Forget this failure, as it was It took me some time to comprehend that the opportunity to join the Air essential to lead you to your destined path.
Search, instead, for the true Force had just slipped through my fingers. I dragged myself out of the purpose of your existence. Become one with yourself, my son! Surrender Selection Board and stood at the edge of a cliff.
I knew that the days ahead would be difficult. There were questions to be answered and a plan of action to be prepared. In response, I was handed my appointment letter. I joined the next day as Senior Scientific Assistant on a basic I bathed in the Ganga and revelled in the purity of its water. If this was to be my destiny, I thought, let walked to the Sivananda Ashram situated a little way up the hill. I could it be so. Finally, I was filled with mental peace. No more did I feel any feel intense vibrations when I entered.
I saw a large number of sadhus bitterness or resentment at my failure to enter the Air Force. All this seated all around in a state of trance. I had read that sadhus were psychic was in If I was not flying aeroplanes, I was at least helping to make I met Swami Sivananda—a man who looked like a Buddha, wearing them airworthy. During my first year in the Directorate, I carried out a a snow-white dhoti and wooden slippers.
He had an olive complexion design assignment on supersonic target aircraft with the help of the and black, piercing eyes. I was struck by his irresistible, almost child- officer-in-charge, R Varadharajan, and won a word of praise from the like smile and gracious manner. I introduced myself to the Swamiji.
My Director, Dr Neelakantan. To gain shop-floor exposure to aircraft Muslim name aroused no reaction in him. Before I could speak any maintenance, I was sent to the Aircraft and Armament Testing Unit further, he inquired about the source of my sorrow. At that time, they were involved in a tropical explanation of how he knew that I was sad and I did not ask.
I participated in the performance I told him about my unsuccessful attempt to join the Indian Air Force assessment of its operation systems. He smiled, washing away all my Even in those days, Kanpur was a very populous city. It was my first anxiety almost instantly. Then he said in a feeble, but very deep voice, experience of living in an industrial town. The cold weather, crowds, Desire, when it stems from the heart and spirit, when it is pure and noise and smoke were in total contrast to what I was used to in intense, possesses awesome electromagnetic energy.
This energy is Rameswaram. I was particularly troubled by the ubiquitous presence of released into the ether each night, as the mind falls into the sleep state. To me, it Each morning it returns to the conscious state reinforced with the cosmic seemed that a feeling of loneliness pervaded the city.
The people on the currents. That which has been imaged will surely and certainly be streets had all come from their villages in search of jobs in factories, manifested. You can rely, young man, upon this ageless promise as surely leaving behind the smell of their soil and the protection of their families. We tried to read as much literature as included in the design team. I completed this task with the other team we could find on hovercrafts, but there was not much available.
We members. Then, I undertook a preliminary design study on a Human tried to consult people knowledgeable in this area, but could find none. I later carried out the design and development of a Vertical One day, I simply took the decision to proceed with the limited information Takeoff and Landing Platform. I was also associated with the and resources available.
Three years passed. This endeavour to produce a wingless, light, swift machine opened Then the Aeronautical Development Establishment ADE was born in the windows of my mind. I was quick to see at least a metaphorical Bangalore and I was posted to the new establishment. After all, the Wright Bangalore as a city was in direct contrast to Kanpur. In fact, I feel Brothers made the first aeroplane after fixing bicycles for seven years! I saw in the GEM project great opportunities for ingenuity and growth.
I suppose, it is because Indians have been both afflicted and enriched by We went straight into hardware development after spending a few centuries of migrations. Loyalty to different rulers has dulled our capacity months on the drawing board. Instead, we have developed an extraordinary There is always the danger that a person with my kind of background— ability to be compassionate and cruel, sensitive and callous, deep and rural or small-town, middle-class, whose parents had limited education— fickle, all at the same time.
To the untrained eye, we may appear colourful will retreat into a corner and remain there struggling for bare existence, and picturesque; to the critical eye, we are but shoddy imitations of our unless some great turn of circumstance propels him into a more various masters. In Kanpur, I saw paan-chewing imitations of Wajid Ali favourable environment. I knew I had to create my own opportunities. Shah, and in Bangalore it was replaced by dog-walking sahibs. Here too, I longed for the depth and calmness of Rameswaram.
The Part by part, subsystem by subsystem, stage by stage, things started relationship between the heart and the head of an earthy Indian has moving. Working on this project, I learned that once your mind stretches been eroded by the divided sensibilities of our cities. I spent my evenings to a new level it never goes back to its original dimension.
He was The workload at ADE during the first year of its inception was quite keenly interested in the progress of our small project, which he envisioned light. Based on my preliminary studies on ground-handling equipment.
Whenever he was in Bangalore, he always found some time equipment, a project team was formed to design and develop an to review the progress of our project. His confidence in our ability ignited indigenous hovercraft prototype as a ground equipment machine GEM. I would enter the assembly shop leaving my other The team was a small working group, comprising four persons at the problems outside, just as my father used to enter the mosque for prayer, level of Scientific Assistant.
Our experiments with the available parts and components did not exactly The project was, by any standards, bigger than our collective delight my senior colleagues.
Many even called us a group of eccentric capabilities. None of us had any experience in building a machine, let inventors in pursuit of an impossible dream. I, being the leader of the alone a flying machine. The development are solved. We had a working. Dr Mediratta was visibly pleased And all such things as geniuses use; — with the achievement. But by this time, Krishna Menon was out of office Two bats for patterns, curious fellows!
In the new order, not many A charcoal-pot and a pair of bellows. In fact, even today, we import hovercrafts. The When the project was about a year old, Defence Minister Krishna project was mired in controversies and was finally shelved. It was a Menon made one of his routine visits to ADE.
I escorted him into our new experience for me. So far, I had believed that the sky was the limit, assembly shop. Inside, on a table lay the GEM model broken down into but now it appeared that the limits were much closer. There are boundaries sub-assemblies. The minister fired one question after another at me, determined to ensure that the prototype would go into test flight within I was unwilling to face reality.
I had put my heart and soul into Nandi. In this period of confusion and uncertainty, memories from my childhood came back to me and I The hovercraft was christened Nandi, after the bull ridden by Lord discovered new meanings in them. For a prototype, its form, fit and finish was beyond our expectation, given the rudimentary infrastructure we possessed. One day, Dr Mediratta called with. He inquired about the state of our hovercraft. When told that it was in perfect condition to be flown, he asked me to organize a demonstration Defence Minister Krishna Menon flew in the Nandi, overruling the for an important visitor the next day.
A Group Captain in the laboratory during the next week as far as I knew. I was sure about my The next day Dr Mediratta brought a visitor to our hovercraft—a competence in flying the machine I had made, and therefore shook my tall, handsome, bearded man. He asked me several questions about the head in negation. Observing this wordless communication, Krishna machine. I was struck by the objectivity and clarity of his thinking. His request filled me laugh and signalled to me to start the machine.
He was very happy. Finally, here was someone who was interested in my work. However, the next the ground. We were not flying, but were definitely floating in the air. This was a breakthrough a young man like ride and departed. But not before introducing himself—he was Prof.
Labels mattered very little. There Rocket Engineer. I was unsure about the set up the Equatorial Rocket Launching Station at Thumba, a sleepy type of questions I would have to face at the interview. There was fishing village near Trivandrum now Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. This was the quiet beginning of modern rocket-based research dualities which arise from wish and hate.
But those in India. The site selected at Thumba lay between the railway line and men of virtuous deeds in whom sin has come to an end, the sea coast, covering a distance of about two and a half km and freed from the delusion of dualities, worship Me measuring about acres.
Within this area, stood a large church, whose steadfast in their vows. Land acquisition from private parties is always a difficult and time-consuming process, especially in densely populated I reminded myself that the best way to win was to not need to win. In addition, there was the delicate matter of acquiring The best performances are accomplished when you are relaxed and a site of religious significance. The Collector of Trivandrum then, K free of doubt.
I decided to take things as they came. Since neither Prof. Dr I decided this was the best attitude to take. Dereira, who was the Bishop of Trivandrum in The St. Mary Magdalene church housed Commission. The prayer room was my friendliness. There was none of the arrogance or the patronising attitudes which To this day, the church is maintained in its full glory and, at present, interviewers usually display when talking to a young and vulnerable houses the Indian Space Museum.
He was looking at me as if in reference to a larger whole. I took some time off before going abroad and went to dream was enveloped by the larger dream of a bigger person. My father was very pleased to learn about the opportunity that had come my way. He took me to the mosque and organized a special namaz in thanksgiving. I could feel the power of God flowing in a circuit through my father to me and back to God; we were all under the spell of the prayer. One of the important functions of prayer, I believe, is to act as a stimulus to creative ideas.
Within the mind are all the resources required for successful living. Ideas are present in the consciousness, which when released and given scope to grow and take shape, can lead to successful events. God, our Creator, has stored within our minds and personalities, great potential strength and ability.
Prayer helps us to tap and develop these powers. Ahmed Jallaluddin and Samsuddin came to see me off at Bombay airport. It was their first exposure to a big city like Bombay, just as I myself was about to have my first exposure to a mega city like New York. Jallaluddin and Samsuddin were self-reliant, positive, optimistic men who undertook their work with the assurance of success.
It is from these two persons that I drew the core creative power of my mind. My sentiments could not be contained, and I could feel the mist of tears in my eyes. The intensity and purity of their faith in my capabilities broke my last defences, and tears welled up in my eyes. They attempt to get out of them rather than suffer them.
Everybody prostrated themselves except Iblis, or Satan, who refused. Does not that make me nobler than Achievers Adam? This is no place for your contemptuous pride. One of my most vivid memories What makes life in Indian organizations difficult is the widespread of LRC is of a piece of sculpture depicting a charioteer driving two prevalence of this very contemptuous pride. It stops us from listening to horses, one representing scientific research and the other technological our juniors, subordinates and people down the line.
You cannot expect a development, metaphorically encapsulating the interconnection between person to deliver results if you humiliate him, nor can you expect him to research and development. Unfortunately, the earth-orbiting science and applications satellites. Here, has to be changed. I saw a painting prominently displayed in the reception lobby.
It depicted As the process of confronting and solving problems often requires a battle scene with a few rockets flying in the background. A painting hard work and is painful, we have endless procrastination. Actually, with this theme should be the most commonplace thing at a Flight Facility, problems can be the cutting edge that actually distinguish between but the painting caught my eye because the soldiers on the side launching success and failure.
They draw out innate courage and wisdom. It was a sounding rocket, called Nike- fighting the British. The rocket was assembled in the church country but commemorated here on the other side of the planet. I was building I have referred to earlier. The only equipment available to happy to see an Indian glorified by NASA as a hero of warfare rocketry. The assembled rocket was to be shifted from the church building training, but Prof.
After the successful to the launch pad by truck. When the rocket was lifted by the crane and launch of Nike-Apache, he chose to share with us his dream of an was about to be placed on the launcher, it started tilting, indicating a leak Indian Satellite Launch Vehicle. As we were fast approaching the Prof. The very news of launch time, 6 p.
People manually, using our collective muscle power and finally placing it on the would work virtually round the clock because of their enthusiasm to launcher. Sarabhai something new, something that had not been done In the maiden Nike-Apache launch, I was in charge of rocket before in our country—be it a new design or a new method of fabrication integration and safety.
Two of my colleagues who played a very or even an out-of-the-way administrative procedure. Sarabhai active and crucial role in this launch were D Easwardas and R would often assign multiple tasks to a single person or a group.
Though Aravamudan. Easwardas undertook the rocket assembly and arranged some of those tasks would appear totally unrelated in the beginning, the launch. Aravamudan, whom we called Dan, was in charge of radar, they would, at a later stage, emerge as deeply interconnected. When telemetry and ground support. The launch was smooth and problem- Prof. We obtained excellent flight data and returned with a sense of he asked me, almost in the same breath, to take up studies on a rocket- pride and accomplishment.
The two things had no apparent connection except in the mind of this great visionary. I When we were relaxing the next evening at the dinner table, we knew that all I had to do was to remain alert and focussed on my purpose, received news of the assassination of President John F Kennedy in and sooner or later, an opportunity to do a challenging job would enter Dallas, Texas.
We were appalled. The Kennedy years were a significant my laboratory. Sarabhai was ever-willing to try out novel approaches and liked The Soviet Union built missile sites in Cuba, from which it would to draw in young people.
He had the wisdom and judgement which have been possible to launch attacks on American cities. In my opinion, he was an ideal experimenter offensive missiles to Cuba. America also threatened to respond to any and innovator. When there were alternative courses of action before us, Soviet nuclear attack from Cuba on any country in the Western whose outcome was difficult to predict, or to reconcile varying Hemisphere by retaliating against the USSR.
After fourteen days of perspectives, Prof. Sarabhai would resort to experimentation to resolve intense drama, the crisis was resolved by the Soviet Premier Khrushchev the issue. A ordering that the Cuban bases be dismantled and the missiles returned bunch of young, inexperienced, but nevertheless energetic and to Russia.
Sarabhai had a detailed discussion with us on research in particular. It was a great example of leadership by trust. He was creating a new frontier in the field of science and technology in India. A new generation, scientists and engineers in their The rocket launch site later blossomed into the Thumba Equatorial 30s and early 40s, was being charged with an unprecedented dynamism. Vikram Sarabhai—had comprehended the full operational sounding rockets were developed.
These rockets had wide implications of the challenge and had not balked at taking it on. Right ranging capabilities, and to date several hundreds of these rockets have from the day INCOSPAR was formed, he was aware of the need to been launched for various scientific and technological studies. It lifted a nominal 7 kg payload produced indigenously.
It was soon followed by another, to which With this in view, a wide-ranging programme for scientific and one more solid propellant stage was added to dispatch multi-experiment technological development in rocket fuels, propulsion systems, payloads weighing nearly kg to an altitude of over km. Incidentally, this laboratory has on polyurethane and polybutane polymer. It later resulted in the setting produced a large number of Indian space scientists of extremely high up of a Propellant Fuel Complex PFC to manufacture strategic calibre over the years.
What is it The development of Indian rockets in the twentieth century can be that distinguishes a sounding rocket from a Satellite Launch Vehicle seen as a revival of the eighteenth century dream of Tipu Sultan. When SLV and from a missile? In fact, they are three different kinds of Tipu Sultan was killed, the British captured more than rockets and rockets.
Sounding rockets are normally used for probing the near-earth subsystems of rockets in the battle of Turukhanahally in His environment, including the upper regions of the atmosphere. While they army had 27 brigades, called Kushoons, and each brigade had a company can carry a variety of scientific payloads to a range of altitudes, they of rocket men, called Jourks.
These rockets had been taken to England cannot impart the final velocity needed to orbit the payload. The final stage of a launch vehicle provides the or patent regime.
With the death of Tipu, Indian rocketry also met its necessary velocity for a satellite to enter an orbit. This is a complex demise—at least for years. A missile, though belonging to the same family, is a still more complex system.
In Meanwhile, rocket technology made great strides abroad. Konstantin addition to the large terminal velocity and onboard guidance and control, Tsiolkovsky in Russia , Robert Goddard in USA and it must have the capability to home onto targets.
When the targets are Hermann Oberth in Germany gave rocketry new dimensions. With this booty, they started to run fabrication of sounding rockets and their associated on-board systems their deadly arms race with missiles and warheads.
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