The President of India, Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam visited the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), SHAR at Sriharikota, today (October 10, 2003). ISRO Chairman, Mr. G Madhavan Nair,Director of SDSC, Mr. K Narayana and senior officials of ISRO received him at the Sriharikota Helipad. Dr. Kalam was shown ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C5, which is in its final stages of preparation for launching India’s most advanced remote sensing satellite, RESOURCESAT-1 (IRS-P6). The launch window for
PSLV-C5 will open on October 16, 2003. The President also went around the Second Launch Pad that has reached an advanced stage of completion.

It may be recalled that Dr. Abdul Kalam was the Project Director of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle, SLV-3, which was successfully launched from Sriharikota in 1980. Since then, ISRO has come a long way in establishing the capability to launch remote sensing satellites into polar orbits using PSLV and communication satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit using GSLV thus making the Indian Space Programme self reliant.

After his visit to the launch facilities, the President addressed the personnel of SDSC at Dr. Ambedkar Open Air Theatre. Dr. Kalam reminisced his association with the Indian Space Programme. He cited several instances of individuals’ commitment and dedication to the task of space programme at various levels, which have made India self reliant in this technology. While appreciating the achievements of ISRO, the President said that ISRO has an important role to play in making India a developed nation
by 2020, especially in the areas of resources survey, communication and meteorological services.

Mr. G Madhavan Nair, Chairman, ISRO, welcomed the President. Dr. K Kasturirangan, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and former Chairman of ISRO, Mr. S Chandramohana Reddy, Andhra Pradesh Minister for Information and Public Relations and senior officials of ISRO were also present at the function. Mr. K Narayana, Director of SDSC, SHAR proposed vote of thanks.

Later, the President proceeded to Dr. Brahm Prakash Hall where he interacted with about 250 students belonging to the Space Central School at SDSC and several schools located at Sullurpeta, which is about 17 Kilometers from SDSC, SHAR.

The President left for Chennai by Helicopter by 1500 Hrs.