TOPIC – Space for dreams

This year, the harvest festival brings a change at the helm for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), with S. Somanath who heads the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) at Thiruvananthapuram taking over as its chairperson. He succeeds K. Sivan, who also came to head ISRO after having led the efforts at VSSC. Mr. Somanath is the third consecutive chairperson of ISRO to have a master’s degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Science. The organization thus sees a continuation of the recent trend of being led by engineers. It is to be seen if Mr. Somanath’s specific expertise in leading innovations in rocket engines, the cryogenic engine, for instance, will shape future developments at ISRO. If earlier the Mars Orbiter Mission, which broke the records for expense by costing just ₹7 per kilometer, and Chandrayaan 2, had kept anticipation high, the new chairperson will oversee the unfurling of the human space flight programme — Gaganyaan. Another long-awaited mission is AdityaL1. This has morphed and grown into what will be India’s grandest investment in space dedicated to science, specifically, solar physics. The aim to take a space observatory to the Lagrangian point one (L1) to study the Sun offers yet another frontier for ISRO to breach. Mr. Somanath will also lead a transition in the stance of ISRO towards privatization. Until a few years ago, ISRO had remained largely preoccupied with deriving socioeconomic benefits from space technology and applications that were used by the Government of India and some international collaboration. Of course, these ventures had strong industry participation, but privatization reforms have been pursued hard recently. The first announcement came in 2019, with the New Space India Limited (NSIL) being floated in March, and the commercial arm of ISRO was more firmly established. Apart from building and launching satellites, the company will provide launch services, build customized launch vehicles, provide services of Earth observation and communication through satellites and also transfer technology to Indian industry. As a sequel to the establishment of NSIL came the announcement of the creation of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center, in June 2020 — a channel through which nongovernmental private enterprises can carry out space activities. The country’s imagination to get up to speed with other competing nations would be put to the test under the new leadership. ISRO and its sister organizations have much to offer in the form of spinoffs and technology transfer. Underlying these questions is the anticipation which stems from the very nature of space science; it not only contributes to immense learning and perspective but also unfolds the very horizon, enhancing universal feelings of oneness.

The Hindu Editorial Words with meanings, synonyms, and antonyms 

Consecutive (adjective) – Following each other continuously

Synonyms – Seriatim, ensuing, sustained, incessant, concomitant

Antonyms – Intermittent, episodic, choppy, patchy, fragmentary


Anticipation (noun) – Expectation or prediction

Synonyms – Greediness, yearning, appetite, avidity, relish

Antonyms – Indiscretion, retrospection, impulsiveness, imprudence


Unfurling (verb) – To expand or spread out something that is furled or folded

Synonyms – Unravel, sprawl, disentwine, splay, slacken

Antonyms – Wrap, stagnate, curtail, abridge, conceal


Morphed (verb) – To change from one form to another

Synonyms – Contort, vacillate, pivot, digress, drift

Antonyms – Perpetuate, safeguard, sustain, preserve, prolong


Pursued (verb) – Follow or chase (someone or something)

Synonyms – Dogged, hounded, badgered, chivied, haunted

Antonyms –Ditched, relinquished, aborted, scrapped, forwent


Sequel (noun) – Something that takes place as a result of an earlier event

Synonyms – Corollary, repercussion, denouement, flak, trail

Antonyms – Prelude, instigation, prequel, prologue, doer


 Spinoffs (noun) – An offshoot

Synonyms –Adjunct, auxiliary, appurtenance, annex, incidental

Antonyms –Impetus, incentive, determinant, rationale, consideration


Immense (adjective) – Extremely large or great, especially in scale or degree

Synonyms –Enormous, prodigious, whopping, thumping, galactic

Antonyms –Bantam, weensy, piddling, scrubby, stubby


Perspective (noun) – An attitude or point of view

Synonyms –Apprehension, disposition, persuasion, proclivity, elucidation

Antonyms –Bewilderment, obtuseness, dumbness, nescience