Monday, January 22, 2007

Indian Innovation - ISRO's success

India's space agency said on Monday an orbiting capsule had been successfully returned to Earth, marking a major step toward the development of a highly prized manned space program.

The capsule was blasted into space as one of four payloads on January 10 from a launch pad 60 miles north of the southern city of Chennai. It splashed down in the Bay of Bengal 11 days later, boosting plans for a lunar mission in 2008.

"(It) landed in the Bay of Bengal ... as per schedule. The mission is a great success," said A. Subramoniam, head of the team that designed and built the capsule at the Indian Space Research Organization.

"This mission is a stepping-stone to design and build our very own reusable spacecraft, and eventually (carry out) manned missions into space, too," he said.

Though India has for years been building communication and remote-sensing satellites, this was its first foray into deploying reusable spacecraft, joining an elite club led by the United States, Russia, China, Japan and France.

The success of the mission is a morale booster for Indian space scientists who are busy preparing for the country's first unmanned lunar mission scheduled for launch in February 2008, to be powered by a locally built rocket.

India hopes to put an astronaut into space by 2014 despite limited funding for its fledgling program.

Indian style of innovation has seen another successful demonstration. ISRO today successfully tested space recovery capsule - a key component for having manned space missions. While the success of ISRO's program is not a great break through for science or for world space programs. American & Russian space programs have developed such recovery capsules 40 years ago! The important point to note in ISRO's success is the cost at which such a device was developed. ISRO's style makes it cheaper and the need for further test flights are reduced supstantially. US took more than 40 Titan missions before it successfully demonstrate a space recovery capsule. ISRO did that with just one test - albeit 40 years later.

The point I want to make here is that Indian style of innovation is unique and at many times lacks novelty factor - but India can re-engineer inventions at a fraction of the orginal inventor's cost.

Also see:
Why Invest in India: Innovation & Creativity
Knowledge Management - The blood & lifeline of any company
Creating a Culture for Innovation and Protecting Intellectual Property - Part 1
Creating a Culture for Innovation and Protecting Intellectual Property - Part 2
Protecting IP Assets of an Organization
Types of Intellectual Property
Business Creativity and Innovation
Indian Style of Innovation

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