Bengaluru: Late former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was instrumental in making India touch the lunar surface on its maiden mission to moon in November 2008, a senior space scientist said on Friday.
“When we made a presentation to President Kalam in 2004 on Chandrayaan-1 mission which was to orbit the moon at 100 km from its surface, he asked us why not land on it when your spacecraft is going that far all the way,” Indian space agency’s satellite director M. Annadurai said at a seminar held in Kalam’s memory here a day after his 84th birth anniversary.
The lunar project team, headed by Annadurai then, went back to the drawing board and included Kalam’s moon impact probe (MIP) in the mission, keeping in view the spacecraft’s weight and capacity, as it carried 11 scientific instruments onboard for various experiments while orbiting the moon.
“When we told Kalam that his wish has been fulfilled and the 34 kg MIP will land on the lunar surface, he was delighted and congratulated us for turning his wish into a reality,” Annadurai told about 300 scientists, engineers and students in presence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and other dignitaries.
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