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India’s ‘Moon Man’

25 May 2023 By ANIRBAN RAY

Muscat – In the vast expanse of the cosmos, where celestial bodies drift across unfathomable distances, the Moon and Mars stand as distant neighbours, separated by thousands of light years from the Earth. Yet, in the intricate tapestry of the universe, their allure and mystery have always remained close to the heart of one man – Mylswamy Annadurai, a space scientist, affectionately known as India’s ‘Moon Man’.

Hailing from the ancient land of Tamil Nadu in India, Annadurai is an esteemed aerospace engineer who has left an indelible mark on the annals of space exploration. Throughout his illustrious career, he has held numerous esteemed positions within the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), an organisation at the forefront of scientific advancements and technological marvels.

With a mind attuned to the wonders of the cosmos, Annadurai has dedicated his life to unraveling the mysteries that lie beyond our blue planet. The Moon Man’s unwavering commitment to scientific exploratio

n has been instrumental in shaping the trajectory of India’s space endeavours. Yet, amidst the grandeur of his accomplishments, Annadurai, like the wise star, remains a humble custodian of knowledge, always striving to inspire the next generation of dreamers and visionaries.

Muscat Daily caught up with the Moon Man for a down-to-earth chat and found that his story was a testament to the relentless pursuit of mankind to unravel the mysteries of the universe.

Life’s lessons

I have always been fascinated by the universe, dark skies, moon and stars ever since I was a boy. I come from a humble background in Tamil Nadu like other scientists at ISRO.

The vast universe is fascinating and it teaches us to be humble as man is not even a particle in that scale – the very knowledge of that can get one grounded.

We need to engage people right from childhood to be aware of the vastness of the universe and the solutions that lie beyond human comprehension. This will make humanity more responsible. Initially, we faced a lot of challenges but now our government is really serious on sending missions to the Moon or Mars.

Space tourism

Our mission Mangalayam concluded a few years back found that the planet Mars is not dead. This is the nearest planet to Earth that has a probability of human survival. It has been showing the processes of losing its atmosphere, and perhaps, indicates the future of the Earth.

Mars may be good for life as it shows similar conditions that can be generated for human survival. With the vision and confidence of even Elon Musk, we can assume that soon space tourism will take off and soon man would set up a colony there. Akin to the historic migrations across continents, this time it will be through planets.

Chandrayan III, Aditya-L1

We had a sad failure of our mission a few years back – basically, there were multiple engines that should have worked in unison, but unfortunately, did not. We had no choice but to destroy it, and sadly, we could not get any images. In a few weeks time, we will embark on Chandarayan III and hopefully have appropriate information for a successful launch. We also have lined up Aditya-L1 to study the sun.

Legendary landing on Moon

Though there are many controversies regarding the first landing on the Moon, I don’t think, it could’ve been staged. The first landing was more of a victory for a country, not for science, as America was more focussed on being a leading global power. There have been some serious questions about the moon landing (like the fluttering US flag) and all have been logically and practically explained by the scientists. Also the samples that were brought from the moon showcase a different dimension.

Now, NASA is planning a big project to the moon called ‘Back to the Moon’ in which modern technology can make a difference. The years ahead will see more breakthroughs.

Mars

The attention has now shifted to Mars. We had a launch in 2008 and were surprised to encounter water – this was also verified by the US mission in 2009. We have also seen water resources in the Moon, in the poles predominantly, in the form of ice where the Sun does not reach. In a span of last 60 years there must have been some massive changes and we need to find them out. With modern technology and remote sensors we can easily find more details about the surface, depths, and terrain.

Aliens

If you consider the human being across the globe, you would find, that definitely life did not begin from one place on Earth. Similarly, I believe, that immediately after the so-called ‘Big Bang’, there must have been other big bangs that released gases, and with infinite time different constellations in the universe were created. So vast is this universe that there are mathematically huge probabilities that varied forms of life could exist.

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