Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chandryaan.... meri yaadein

With Chandrayaan launch @ 06.10 hours, 22nd October 2008, I feel like looking back on the days at our Advanced Materials and Ceramics Division, INSTEF area, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, ISRO, Trivandrum where we guys were doing a lot of fun filled research on developing Ceramic material for Space Capsule Recovery Experiment, which was launched somewhere in the middle of 2007 and was first phase to this Chandrayaan and our preparation of Reusable Launch Vehicle. I joined as a trainee with lot of pride and felt honoured entering one of the premium research laboratories of our nation. The exotic location of our centre adds more value to the feel. It always feels like being wanted.
I must have been blessed to be a part of the entire work and believe me being a Chemical Engineer; I never knew that a Chemical Engineer can do so much of things. I got a few great colleagues and friends. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn a lot of things and I prepared myself to listen to people and do what they tell me to do. The very next day to my surprise, my scientist Mr. Ajith Nair discussed with me about why we are doing the project and told me whatever work have been done so far from the scrap. Man, believe me it’s a hell lot of work and complicated things and from the moment on wards my opinion towards the government research organizations took a new shape. The very next command which he gave to me was a sweet shock. He said “Do whatever you want, try whatever you like to, but please do keep documentation”. It was a jackpot to me.
I got introduced to a few more “Great” gentle men there. One thing is for sure, I’ve always been blessed to have wonderful people around me. Here too I got the same. There were a few skill men around with us to help us in fabricating or making whatever we needed. To add to all these things, our centre Head was always on tour and we had full freedom from our scientist and the assistants there. Our head was also a freely moving person but we used to have a lot of fear and respect for him. We called him by a pet name “Singam” [meaning LION] among us. Within a week time I understood that this is a base project for India’s entry into the elite group of countries who have Reusable Launch Vehicle or to simply call “Space Shuttle”. And if this experiment is successful then we’ll be in a position to make RLV’s on our own.
I will not discuss more on what work I did there as it comes under Official Secrecy Act and I am not supposed to disclose it. I remember we were allotted a new laboratory on a new building. We were preparing and arranging our experimental setup’s there and was making it ready for the inauguration. To our surprise VSSC Director was the guest who was coming to inaugurate and he was Dr. Madhavan Nair. I never imagined that a director would come to our lab for a visit. We did our best to make our laboratory look pleasing and we generally did that everyday.
As my scientist advised, I used to maintain the log book for the entire laboratory. In that I generally write whatever work we did the entire day in one note book and in the other one I used to name the samples and track it according to its movement in the lab with time. Apart from that we had a white board at the entrance where I label out the day’s work in the morning and after having a look at it everyone used to do their part accordingly. It gave a very systematic approach to the entire research as well and we were able to sort out things very quickly.
That day too, I wrote things as I use to do daily. We had another board inside our lab where I wrote the briefing of targets achieved by us. Suddenly when director saw the board, he stopped for a while to read it across and asked my scientist who wrote this? And he searched for me in the crowd and called me to introduce me. The director with a smile congratulated and said “You have a very good handwriting, Keep it up”. Our scientist also showed him the log book I maintained and the director was with all praise. Then he wished us all before he left.
This is an unforgettable thing now, as I can proudly say that I got appreciated by ISRO chief
J. There are lot more fantasy and fairy tales from my ISRO labs which I would share later.

1 comment:

Gouri Chugh said...

Hey! u are the been there and done dat kinda guy man. ISRO bhi nahi choda. phew! iam so proud of you!