In a bid to boost scientific temper among Indians and reach out to young minds in schools, Bengaluru-based Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has now announced its plans to launch a television channel.
Noting that the space agency does not have a science TV channel, Isro chief K Sivan said that Isro's channel would "inculcate scientific temper" among people.
The space agency has been at the forefront of India's space exploration missions and is often touted for its breakthroughs and research techniques. The news of a television channel by the state-run space and research organisation is sure to pique viewers' interest in the field.
What's of further interest, especially for the young minds looking to step into space exploration as a career path, is Isro's plan to conduct programmes for school children. According to K Sivan, the space agency is looking to conduct capacity building programmes for students of class 8, 9 and 10.
Students will be handpicked for training camps where they will be taken on field visits to Isro's laboratory and also be taught to build a small satellite. The student satellite programmes will last anywhere between 25 to 30 days and would give the young students a peek into India's foremost space agency and research centre.
But that is not all. Isro is also looking to reach out to startups that can contribute to space technology and innovation. The space agency is planning to set up six incubation centres across India, aimed for startups looking to share ideas in space exploration, Times of India reported. Talking about the same, K Sivan said:
Our aim is that the best brain and research and development should be utilized. These start-ups can contribute to Isro without joining us.
Big plans ahead - 31 space missions in 16 months
Isro has a busy time ahead, until December 2019. K Sivan, while speaking to reporters on Sunday, said that the space agency is looking to launch two space missions each month until the end of next year. NDTV quoted the Isro chairman as saying:
The space agency has a tight schedule ahead, as we are targeting nine launches over the next five months and 22 missions from February to December in 2019, aiming at two per month.
In addition to satellites meant to boost connectivity in rural areas and the ones that can undertake ocean mapping, Isro will also be launching commercial satellites. But the highlight of the space agency's many missions would have to be the Chandrayaan 2. After Chandrayaan 1 in 2008, Isro will be attempting its second lunar mission on January 3.