news Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | January 13, 2015 | 1:00 pm IST Distinguished scientist A.S.Kiran Kumar has been appointed as the secretary for department of space and chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), an official statement said on Monday. Who is he? Kiran Kumar Alur Seelin was born in 1952, in Karnataka. He graduated in Physics (Honours), in 1971, from the National College of Bangalore University which was followed by a degree of MSc in Electronics in 1973, from the same university. He is credited with the development of key scientific instruments aboard the Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan space craft and has represented ISRO at many international forums during his 39 years with the space organization. Kiran Kumar started his career, joining Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad - a research institute under ISRO, in 1975 - which is one of ISRO's major centres engaged in the research, development and demonstration of applications of space technology. [On November 14, 2008 - India succeeded in landing a space probe on the surface of the Moon. The probe was launched from an orbiter called Chandrayaan-1] (pictured below) When he’s not designing satellite payloads, it seems that the scientist enjoys Carnatic music and indoor games like badminton, table-tennis, and carrom. Scientific contributions Kiran Kumar has made very significant contributions in evolving the country's observation strategy encompassing, Land, Ocean atmospheric and planetary studies. He helped design and develop the imaging sensors aboard India’s first and experimental remote sensing satellites launched in 1979 and 1981.  He also led research teams that developed three of the five scientific instruments aboard the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft which is considered India's proudest achievement in space exploration. (An artist's concept of the Mars Orbiter) "The level of precision that was required for such a mission demanded extremely sensitive technology - far superior in quality over the ones we’ve used in earlier space missions" Dr Kiran Kumar was quoted as saying. Awards He is a recipient of many awards and was honoured multiple times for his feats. He received the Indian Society of Remote Sensing Award in 1994 followed by the VASVIK award (Electronic sciences and technology) in 1998, for his work on the early remote sensing satellites. He has also received the Astronautical Society of India Award for the year 2001 and was honoured by ISRO in 2006 with an Individual Service Award. He was conferred with the Bhaskara Award by the Indian Society of Remote Sensing in 2007 for development of innovative and critical technology and honoured with an ISRO Performance Excellence Award in 2008. The International Academy of Astronautics conferred him with  a Team Achievement Award in 2008 His proudest moment however, was when he was awarded the Padma Shri - India's fourth highest civilian honour, during the 2014 Republic Day. “The only difference it makes is that it puts on you greater responsibility and you carry high expectations of people and the government. After the award, I carry with me the aspirations of a huge number of people,” he had said. Dr Kiran Kumar is also a Fellow of National Academy of Engineers and Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics and will hold the position of ISRO chief for the next three years. Tweet Follow @thenewsminute
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