The Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) is an organisation of pride and hope, one that marks the courage of the youth of our country. It has been a part of 127 Spacecraft missions to date.
Many years ago, ISRO was trying to make its first satellite launcher. The incident dates back to August 1979 in Sriharikota, India. The then chairman of ISRO, Professor Satish Dhawan, and ISRO’s scientists were on a mission to put a satellite into orbit. By then, thousands of scientists and engineers had been working on it for about ten years.
On the day of the launch, when only 40 seconds were left, the computer flashed a warning telling them not to follow it through. The problem was detected to be a leakage in the control system. It was now or never: they had to make a decision. Despite having consulted the experts, the project director decided to go ahead with the launch. The mission had 4 stages, and in its 2nd, it witnessed the satellite go out of control and plunge into the Bay of Bengal!
After this failure, the project director was saved from embarrassment by Prof. Satish Dhawan, who conducted the press conference all by himself. Having had to face all kinds of criticism from the media, he assured them that he had faith in the team and that their next attempt would be successful.
In the following year, on the 18th of July 1980, India successfully launched SLV 3 into the aimed orbit with the very same team. However, this time, the chairman of ISRO encouraged the Project director to participate in the press conference. The project director was an alumnus of The Madras Institute of Technology, and later became the first citizen of the country, was none other than Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. He recollected this incident on multiple occasions, saying that the greatest quality of a leader was when failures occurred, he would own up to them, and when successes came, he would give credit to the team.
When coming across such incidents, we get to add beautiful colours to the portraits that stand before us. We look upon them and dream of playing parts in paintings of our own.