Today, Rohit and Mr. Narayanan went to ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) satellite center in Bengaluru, India (formerly Bangalore). The ISRO people were really nice and gave us a tour of the Satellite Center even though this is usually not open to the general public. We think we got this special treatment because we explained to them that we were kids interested in science and technology and were one of the finalists in the Google-LEGO Moonbots competition.We got a tour of the clean room where satellites are assembled and tested prior to launch. We learned that the next ISRO satellite was to be launched in September and is called Megha-Tropiques (what a lovely coincidence, Megha is both Rohit’s little sister and the team mascot). Nicolas Sarcozy, the President of France, had visited the same ISRO facility in December 2010 to see Megha-Tropiques, as seen in the picture below. You can learn more about the Megha-Tropiques project here.
We also got a guided tour of the ISRO museum, which had scale models of all Indian satellites launched to date – it is a mini-version of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.
We learnt a lot about the design, construction and testing of satellites from the ISRO visit. We suggested that they develop a child-friendly portal to inspire children to dream about and learn about science. Bangalore is the perfect setting to promote satellite technology and Indian software/web-development expertise.
We also got the address of ISRO contacts who could help us promote science and technology to young kids in India and also received, compliments of the ISRO Director, a collection of posters and promotional materials Rohit will be sharing with my team mates (several people have offered to make posters for us, but this is the first space poster Rohit has actually got).