The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman G Madhavan Nair has been made the president of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). Nair is the first Indian expert to become the head of IAA founded in 1960.
According to an official communiqué released by ISRO, Nair took over as IAA president on Sunday, during its general assembly in Daejeon, South Korea. Nair had been IAA’s vice-president for the last four years, the release said.
Nair is also the Secretary to the Department of Space of Government of India. He is also the president of Astronautical Society of India (ASI). Nair began his career as Avionics Project Manager in the first Indian launch vehicle project. “He was responsible for design, development and operationalisation of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the work-horse launch vehicle of India. He held various responsibilities in ISRO including Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (largest Centre of ISRO) and Director of Liquid Propulsion System Centre. He became the Chairman of ISRO in 2003, and has 25 successful missions so far during his tenure. He operationalised multiple satellite launches using PSLV. His most significant contribution is the successful launch of India’s first mission to the Moon, the Chandrayaan-1, which has earned tremendous international acclaim. He is conferred with ‘Padma Bhushan’ in 1998 and ‘Padma Vibhushan’ in 2009 by the Government of India. He was awarded honorary Degrees of Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Science by 16 Universities in India,” the release said.
IAA with its headquarters at Paris, France is an independent organisation of distinguished individuals elected by their peers for their outstanding contributions to astronautics and the exploration of space. The IAA organises conferences and collaborates with other partner societies. Although, the IAA has many connections to other similar organisations, it is distinctive as the only international academy of elected members in broad area of astronautics and space. IAA membership consists of individuals who have distinguished themselves in one of the fields of astronautics or one of the branches of science of fundamental importance for the exploration of space. IAA membership has 1,200 members from 85 countries. The IAA is an honorary society with an action agenda. The Academy has a strong scientific program this year with about 16 stand-alone conferences around the world, the ISRO release added.
Meanwhile, in another release from Bangalore the ISRO announced that all three payloads on-board the Oceansat-2, launched on September 23 through PSLV-C14, have been successfully turned on and is providing good quality data. The payloads include the Ocean Colour Monitor, Scatterometer, and Radio Occultation Sounder for Atmospheric. All the instruments have been functioning successfully, the release said.
The Ocean Colour Monitor (OCM), a multi-spectral imaging radiometer, provides information on chlorophyll concentration, and helps locating Potential Fisheries Zones. The Scatterometer, an active microwave sensor, facilitates retrieval of sea-surface wind speed and direction, and monitoring polar sea-ice. The Radio Occultation Sounder measures the parameters pertaining to lower atmosphere and ionosphere. The data provided by the different sensors on-board Oceansat-2, will also facilitate monitoring of turbidity and suspended sediments, sea-state and sea-surface winds, and meteorological/climatological studies. The satellite collects data over the entire globe once in two days, the release added.
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