Rakesh Sharma has promised all help for projects in the aerospace sector that is coming up in the Kerala space park.

Indias first astronaut Rakesh Sharma meets CM Pinarayi over Kerala Space Park
news Space Friday, August 30, 2019 - 10:32

Rakesh Sharma, the first and only Indian to go to space, met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and pledged support for aerospace related projects that are coming up in the proposed Kerala Space Park. The astronaut offered his help during a meeting with the CM at the latter’s official residence Cliff House in Thiruvananthapuram.

According to reports, the discussion revolved around the Kerala Space Park which will come up on 22 acres of land in Pallippuram, Thiruvananthapuram.

In a Facebook post detailing his meeting with Rakesh Sharma, Pinarayi said, “The government expects that the presence of institutions such as the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), ISRO Inertial Systems Unit and the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IISST) of the ISRO is will help boost the development of the space park.”

Pinarayi said that Sharma had noted Kerala had huge potential in the outer space and aerospace areas. He also added that the astronaut recalled his experiences in space travels during the discussion.

The Kerala Chief Minister expressed hope that once completed, the space park could compete in the market if it could develop technology required for aerospace projects. According to the Chief Minister’s post on social media, the Kerala Government has already signed an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for this. 

The Kerala government had earlier this year announced that the park in Thiruvananthapuram will be India’s first state-of-the-art space systems centre at the knowledge city. The aim of the proposed space park is to attract global startups in the space research sector and also make it a manufacturing centre for all space related technology and equipment. The space park will also accommodate start up incubators, accelerators, skill training systems and production units.

According to earlier reports, the Kerala Government promised to lease 20.01 acres of land to the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd (KSITIL) to develop the space park. Out of this, 16.07 acres now have special economic zone status which will be denotified by KSITIL.

In addition to the park, a knowledge centre named after Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and a space museum will be developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in memory of the former president. 

A former squadron leader with the Indian Air Force, Rakesh Sharma got the opportunity to fly to space in 1984, as part of a joint programme between the ISRO and the Soviet Intercosmos space programme. 

In this historic mission, Sharma who was chosen among thousands of applicants, joined two Soviet cosmonauts abroad the Soyuz T-11 spacecraft which was launched on April 2, 1984. Sharma spent eight days in space on the Salyut 7 space station before returning home.

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