Dr. Harish, Deputy Project Director, Human Spaceflight Programme, ISRO spoke at Aero India 2011 held recently in Bangalore. The title of this article made me excited enough to want to watch it.
However, after watching the video, it was quite general. His talk was very non-specific and did not have much matter. Some points though involved the choice of the Soyuz style architecture for the crew vehicle based on the Shuttle vs Soyuz experience and safety record of the US and Russia respectively. He talked about how humans would control the flight very mysteriously without expanding on it. He explained that the experience with the Space Capsule Re-entry Experiment (SRE) gave ISRO the confidence to go ahead with the human spaceflight programme. He put across that putting an air conditioning on the SRE would give us the crew vehicle – which is a rather crude way of putting it. He talked about how experience of Apollo management style has influenced India and last but not the least he explained that there is excessive stress on safety.
I do not think that a keen follower of the programme would have missed anything if he did not listen to this talk. However, if you have the time or the inclination, feel free to go through the video. I would like to stress again that Indian scientists and engineers need to get much better at communicating to the common man what they’re doing.