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  • Writer's pictureEllamaran Murugiah

ISRO Visit

[ 300 ] schools took part in the 2011 annual event for the Science Fair Young Children [SFYC]. The champion from the fair will be awarded a trip to ISRO Bangalore. The goal of the award is to reward the best pupil and the teachers for the best experimental with the schools on hands-on creative approach to problem solving, sharpen their writing skills, ability to work in a team, and to plan and execute science experimental tasks and develop public speaking skills.

The winner of the 2011 Science Fair Young Children [SFYC] was sponsored by Yayasan MyNadi; and winner was SRJK Tamil Ladang Landaron, Muar Johor. The winner was awarded a trip to ISRO Bangalore which much relate to science, research and exploration. The trip was coordinated and organised by myNadi’s Chairman with the help of Air Asia CEO and Mr Shri Vijay Gokhale of India High Commissioner in Malaysia thus a five days trip was arranged.

The champions for 2011 SFYC from SRJK Tamil Ladang Landaron for the trip were the four students who participant (Mr Pravin, Mr Kaartik Balu, Mr Sethumathvan, and

Mr Thaveneswaran Vasudevan), two teachers from the school (Mrs Sahila Muniandy and Ms Kaliyani K.V Subash Nair), one representative from SFYC ( Mr Ahgilan Manathan) and one MyNadi (Mr Ellamaran Murugiah) representative was selected.

Briefing and signing of documentation

Day 01 – 26th Dec 2011

On day one 26th Dec 2011; the whole team were in LCCT airport at 12pm for 3.17pm flight for AK1211 to Bangalore. Many of them still don’t believe that the trip is taking place especially the teachers and the parents. There was a short briefing was given and to all the lucky winners was given the following:

1. Boarding pass from KL- BLR and from BLR- KL, 2. Valid Malaysian Passport, 3. Valid single entry India Visa, 4. MyNadi also provided a per diem of RM300 per student and RM 500 per teacher for the trip which was converter into Rupee, 5. To the parents a RM 200 each as reimbursed for the costs of travelling from Johor to LCCT and LCCT to Johor.

For the students and the teachers it was a first time on a flight and it was first time to India; all of them were excited to get into a plane. As the flight reached at 32,000 feet on Cruise mood food was serve.

The flight AK1211 took 3 hour 15minutes to reach Bangalore International Airport at 6pm local time. After clearing the immigration which took us about one hour and we were received by ISRO’s Mr Sunil Nayak Public relation Officer at the Airport. We were ferried in a van to a 12th Avenue Hotel in Indiranagar.(Note: Indiranagar is the blue collar population of the city resides alongside the State's politicians, sports persons, celebrities and according to many surveys, Indiranagar is the costliest place to live in Bangalore)

Day 02 – 27th Dec 2011

At 9.30 am Mr Sunil with a hired driver took us to the ISRO Space Commission center. The security at the ISRO is so tight that almost impossible for anyone outsider to enter; we told that all our cameras, hand phone and any other electronic devices are prohibited in the facilities. The level of security is so tight at every stage and each floor. Mr Guruprasad led us to ISRO Space Commission Center or ISRO Space Satellite Center or is also call as ISAC. ISAC at Bangalore is engaged in developing satellite technology and implementation of satellite systems for scientific, technological and application missions.

ISAC is functionally organised into five major areas: mechanical systems area including structures, thermal systems and spacecraft mechanisms; digital and communications area including digital systems and communication systems; integration and power area comprising spacecraft checkout, systems integration and power systems; controls and mission. After the briefing and introduction Mr Guruprasad later took us to three main areas which many may have not seen and impossible for outsider to visit. He show and explain to us the actual scientist at work in developing the satellite which consisting of control system, mission development and computer and information; and facilities. Later he took us to ISRO Satellite Integration and Test Establishment (ISITE) including a Comprehensive Assembly, Test and Thermo-vacuum Chamber (CATVAC) provide necessary support for qualification of sub-systems and systems to meet the requirements of space environment. Finally he took us to public exhibition centre were the only area were public are allowed. After the last visit for the day; we were told to get ready early for a long distance journey for about 40 km from our hotel.

Day 03 – 28th Dec 2011 The place is Byalalu which the Indian Deep Space Network (ISTRAC), commissioned during the year 2008, at Byalalu village near Bangalore forms the Ground segment for providing deep space support for India’s prestigious and first Lunar mission, the Chandrayaan-1 control and communication center.

ISRO's 44.4 meter tall four-stage PSLV launch rocket. Chandrayaan-1 was sent to the Moon in a series of orbit-increasing maneuvers around the Earth over a period of 21 days as opposed to launching the craft on a direct trajectory to the Moon. Chadrayaan-1 was India’s first unmanned lunar probe; it was launched by ISRO in October 2008 and operated until August 2009. The mission was a major boost to India’s space program, as it among its many achievements was the discovery of the widespread presence of water molecules in lunar soil. A video presentation on the launch was shown how Chadrayaan-1 launch took place. We cross over to the data center and was introduced to Mr Amit Purohit on how the data from Chadrayaan-1 was store and retrieved.

Before we leave, were taken to the 32 meter diameter dish which tracked the Chadrayaan-1. We were taken into the dish control center and shown us the Seven reflection mirror and climb up to the dish.

At 12.30pm we had to rush back to ISTRAC. ISTRAC is responsible for providing Space Operation services that include spacecraft control, TTC support services and other related projects and services, for the launch vehicle and low earth orbiting spacecraft and deep space missions of ISRO and other space agencies around the world. Development of RADAR systems for tracking & atmospheric applications and Establishment of Ground Segment Network for Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System of ISRO are the additional responsibilities of ISTRAC.

Mr Vishvanth the HR Director and a Space Scientist who was waiting for us receive us at the main gate and he show us how ISRO over the years, established a comprehensive network of ground stations to provide Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) upport to Satellite and Launch vehicle missions. These facilities are grouped under ISRO Telemetry, Tracking And Command Network (ISTRAC) with its headquarters at Bangalore, Karnataka State, INDIA. ISTRAC has TTC ground stations at Bangalore, Lucknow, SHAR (Sriharikota), Thiruvananthapuram, Port Blair Island, Brunei, Biak (Indonesia) and Mauritius, meeting international standards. 20 minutes of video presentation on the launch of Chadrayaan-1. Over here we were taken to Mission Control Center where the actual launch takes place

Day 04 – 29th Dec 2011

On this day it was a light schedule visiting the ISRO Headquarters.

In the Headquarter there were about 600 administrations staff are based here but all this Administration staff by profession are scientist including Mr Guruprasad. At the Headquarters Madam Padmavathy gave us a 30 minutes presentation. In the presentation she shows us the history of ISRO, Satellite, and launch vehicle. According to her there was 35 launches with 65 Satellite for India and foreign. After the presentation we had opportunity to meet Mr Satish Director of publication and Public Relations . The Headquarter has one of best library on Space, environment, Journal and many other matters and books which may not available in Malaysia. On behalf of SYNC and MyNadi we thank Mr Satish, Guruprasad and Mr Sunil Nayak.

Day 05 – 30th Dec 2011,

Our Last day in Bangalore it was time to depart to Kuala Lumpur, the flight AK 1212 was delay by two hours due to bad weather and the Cyclone hit southern part of India. During our flight we experienced heavy turbulence.

Acknowledgement: The Science Fair Young Children [SFYC];

MyNadi ( Datuk Dr Jeya , Datin Sunita ),

Air Asia,

Mr Guruprasad and Mr Sunil of ISRO

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