Science & Technology

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam's Message After Crashing Of ISRO's SLV-3 Missions

BP World Bureau | Sep 07 2019 02:53:47 PM

NEW DELHI: Former president DR APJ Abdul Kalam's words are now remembered after ISRO's close call with the Chandrayaan 2 mission.

Dr Abdul Kalam was the project director of SLV-3 satellite launch in 1979 which was a massive failure at the time. Professor Satish Dhawan was the chairman of ISRO and they were working on India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III).

President Kalam had narrated the incident back in 2013 while addressing the audience.

Recounting the incident, Kalam said that a team of over a thousand workers working tirelessly for a decade. In the launchpad at Sriharikota, at the end of the countdown, the computer put the launch on hold. As the mission director, he had to make a decision.

While the computer kept indicating that they shouldn't launch but the experts, who were confident about the calculations, advised him to go ahead.

Thus Kalam launched the rocket and the first of the four stages of the launch went well. The second stage of the launch didn't go well and the satellite crashed into the Bay of Bengal.


Dr Kalam recounted the incident as his first encounter with failure because he basically took the call to bypass the computer's warning to go ahead with the launch.

Kalam was in a situation that he didn't know how to manage, which was the failure.  ISRO chief Satish Dhawan held a press conference and commended the team of scientists who worked hard for the project.

But what happened next is what was remarkable for him. Chief Dhawan took in all criticisms and complete responsibility for the failure of the mission.

He assured that he is leading a very good team and that they will be successful, he had dropped the phrase, "the best is yet to come" at the time.

The following year, July 18, 1980, Kalam, leading the same time, successfully launched Rohini RS-1 into the orbit. Back then, Dhawan made Kalam stand in the limelight.

Kalam regarded Dhawan's gesture as the best example of team management as someone who took the blame during the failure but gave his team the credits when they succeeded.