December 1, 2022
Satish Dhawan’s Birth Anniversary: ​​On the birth anniversary of Satish Dhawan, his contribution to India’s space technology

Satish Dhawan’s Birth Anniversary: Prof. Satish Dhawan was born on 25 September 1920 in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. He was an Indian rocket scientist, he had his education in India and the United States. He is considered by the Indian scientific community as the father of experimental fluid dynamics research in India. He succeeded Vikram Sarabhai, the founder of the Indian space program, as the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in 1972. He was also the Chairman of the Space Commission and Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Space.

Father of fluid dynamics research in India

Prof. Dhawan appointed the distinguished aerospace scientist Professor Hans W. He earned his PhD from the California Institute of Technology while serving as an advisor to Lippman. He then joined the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru as a faculty member and was later appointed its youngest and longest-serving director.

Prof. Dhawan’s pilot project paved the way for the creation of world-class wind tunnel facilities at the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) in Bengaluru. Even when he was in charge of the Indian space programme, he did a lot of work in boundary layer research. His most important achievements are the ground-breaking book Boundary Layer Theory by Hermann Schleiching.

Take the space program to the top

At the request of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, he took charge of the Indian space program after the sudden death of Vikram Sarabhai on December 30, 1971. Prof. Dhawan became the Secretary of the Department of Space, India in May 1972. He assumed leadership of both the Space Commission and ISRO, which were formally established in the hall itself. Prof. Dhawan conducted pioneering experiments in rural education, remote sensing and satellite communication. His achievements led to the development of INSAT – a telecommunication satellite, IRS – the Indian remote sensing satellite and the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which placed India in the league of space-rich nations.

From the pages of Wings of Fire

The former most popular President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam in his book Wings of Fire has mentioned that in 1979 when he was the director of a satellite launch vehicle, the mission failed to launch the satellite. The satellite fell into the Bay of Bengal. Abdul Kalam’s team knew there was a leak in the system’s fuel, but they expected the leak to be negligible, and thus thought there was enough fuel in the system.

Satish Dhawan being the chairman at that time called Abdul Kalam and conveyed to the press that “We failed! But I have great faith in my team and I am sure that next time we will definitely succeed.” This incident surprised Abdul Kalam, as the chairman of ISRO took the blame for the failure on himself. The next mission was designed and successfully launched in 1980. When it was successful, Satish Dhawan asked Abdul Kalam to attend the press meet without his presence. Agan writes that when the team failed, he took all the blame on himself. But when the team was successful, he credited his team for the success. Satish Dhawan was also the chairman of ISRO till 1984.

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