Bangalore: Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Wednesday hoped an Indian astronaut would walk on the Moon in 2025 and on Mars by 2035.
"I believe an Indian astronaut will walk on the Moon in 2025 and on Mars by 2035. The Indian space agency should attempt to put an Indian on Moon and Mars between 2025 and 2035," Kalam said at a function here.
Releasing a book titled "All About Rockets", authored by advisor to the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) S.K. Das, Kalam said Indian space scientists should innovate cutting-edge technologies to reduce the cost of access to space to $2,000 per kg from the current $20,000 per kg.
"Low cost access to space is the way forward. The challenge for the Indian space scientists is to reduce the launch cost to $2,000 per kg from $20,000 per kg currently by using nanotechnology and reusable single-engine stage launches," Kalam told ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan and directors of the space agency's various space centres who were present on the occasion.
Recalling his long association with the space agency and his involvement in the failures and successful launches of the first satellite launch vehicle (SLV) and the subsequent polar satellite launch vehicles (PSLVs), Kalam said space was another destination for man's quest for renewable energy.
"One of the spin-offs I foresee from space technology is to innovate a low-cost energy solution. We are already using solar energy to power satellites to orbit around the Earth and run its various payloads (instruments). We need to innovate a solution to transfer the solar-generated energy to earth and store it in the form of power cells or batteries that can be used as renewable energy," Kalam pointed out.
Regretting that India has been a laggard in achieving breakthroughs in rocket launches, building satellites or supercomputers, Kalam said the country should overcome the status of being a "fourth or fifth nation syndrome" to becoming the first country in cracking space technology and ICT (information and communication technology) through innovation and research.
"After every successful launch of a rocket or satellite, India is ranked as the fourth or fifth nation in the world to have achieved success or breakthrough in space technology. It is time for us to overcome the fourth or fifth nation syndrome and be the first among equals if we have to become a superpower. We can do it," Kalam added.