Features Friday, January 09, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | December 26, 2014 | 12:35 pm IST Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Dr K Radhakrishnan has something to be proud about, after being chosen as one of the top scientists of 2014 by the prestigious science journal “Nature” Dr Radhakrishnan, while heading the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) also known as the Mangalyaan, knew the odds were stacked up against him as half of all attempts to reach Mars have ended in failure. However, on 24 September, India joined the elite group of nations with the capability to explore the solar system and also the only country to succeed in its first attempt at an interplanetary mission. Dr. Radhakrishnan says that the challenges associated with the job is what keeps him going. He also talks about how participation of the younger generation boosts productivity, a report in The Hindu adds. (An artists concept of the MOM reaching the Mars orbit) The Mars mission has put the spotlight on Asia's space ambitions. India plans in the next three years to launch its second Moon mission and bring back lunar samples to Earth by 2017. “I was like a conductor of an orchestra.” Radakrishnan was quoted as saying. The chairman reportedly, plans to retire from his post on December 31, 2014 to pursue his other interests and hobbies. However, Radhakrishnan is not the only Indian on the list. The list also includes robot-maker Radhika Nagpal who is currently leading an engineering research team in Harvard. This year, her group gathered great appreciation for passing a milestone in biology-inspired robotics. Nagpal’s group devised a swarm of 1,024 “Kilobots”, each a few centimeters tall, that communicated with its immediate neighbours using infra red light and organize themselves into stars and other two dimensional shapes. They hope that this kind of swarm-robotics research will eventually lead to self-organizing robot teams that can rapidly respond to disasters or aid in environmental clean-up. Nagpal is currently trying to develop large robot swarms that can self-assemble into structures in three dimensions, opening up numerous possibilities Also check- From Aryabhatta to Mangalyaan and GSLV Mark III- ISRO's history in pictures Other scientists in the list include Andrea Accomazzo who steered the Rosetta mission, Sheik Humarr Khan an Ebola doctor who turned down an invitation to leave his country so that he could stay and treat patients and Pete Frates who promoted the idea of the Ice-bucket challenge. Check out the full list here Also Read - From Mangalyaan to the Rosetta comet landing: Major breakthroughs of space exploration in 2014 Tweet   Follow @thenewsminute

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