What was your most memorable moment?
"I have been at ISRO throughout my career. Every launch has us on our tenterhooks. A mission takes 18 minutes to reach its orbit. So every launch is the same in a way. We do everything that is in our control and hope for the best."
When are you sending a man on the moon?
"We can send him there tomorrow. Bringing him back is the problem. On a serious note, a plan has been submitted to the government for approval.
We will first have to send a spacecraft and bring it back safely before sending a human being to the moon. It might become a reality in a decade. Considering the advancement of science in the meanwhile, it may even be earlier than that."
Most of ISRO's targets are what Vikram Sarabhai envisioned. Have you achieved all of his dreams?
"Space for the betterment of mankind is what Dr Sarabhai envisioned. I think we have done that and we are also moving forward. That is how the moon mission came about, when we thought how to further it."
Image: Chandrayaan Mission Director George Koshy with A V Birla Group chief economist Ajit Ranade at the golden jubilee celebrations of IIT-Bombay in Bengaluru. | Photograph: Sanjay Sawant
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