Some lesser known facts on ‘The Sleepless Scientist’, the truly inspirational Dr K Sivan

‘Vikram Lander’ lost contact with the command room, in what was a final stage of Chandrayaan-2.

Last night when this man spoke with a broken heart, whole country was moved into tears. It was not a moment of disappointment, the whole country took pride for the efforts of the Chairperson of ISRO and his team of scientists behind Chandrayaan-2.

Kailasavadivoo Sivan, broke down, when PM Modi left the command centre today. His tears  were the proof that he had dreamt, and worked on this project like a mother rising her child. He is known as ‘sleepless scientist’ of India.

  1. Sivan was born on April 14, 1957, his life a success story of beating all odds and becoming a most successful scientist of India.

Few lesser known facts about this great scientist.

  • Born as a son of a farmer in Tarakkanvilai village of Kanyakumari, Sivan completed his schooling in Tamil medium government schools.

He ia a self-made and hard-working man, he taught himself without any guidance from family or attending tuitions, he became the first graduate in his family.

  • Sivan was former director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. He is known as the ‘Rocket Man’ because of his significant contribution in the development of cryogenic engines for India’s space programs
  • in 1974 when he decided to pursue engineering. However, because of financial constraints, he went on to pursue a Bachelors in mathematics at ST Hindu College in Nagercoil — instead of his preferred course.
  • In 1980, Sivan completed his bachelor’s course in aeronautical engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. After completing a master’s course in aerospace engineering from IISC Bengaluru, he joined the ISRO in 1982.
  • In ISRO, Sivan was part of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project where he contributed significantly to the planning, designing, integration, and analysis of the mission.

Sivan developed and implemented an innovative ‘day-of launch wind biasing strategy’ that enables rocket launch on any day, under varied weather and wind conditions.

He was the chief architect of mammoth mission for the successful launch of 104 satellites in a single mission of PSLV.

  • After being appointed ISRO Chairman in 2018, his maiden flight failed- the first PSLV failure in 24 years.

However, his accomplishments surpass his defeats. Sivan is attributed to the successful launch of 104 satellites in a single PSLV mission in February’17.

  • He was the main person for evolving strategies for launching India’s MARS mission through PSLV. He has also tasted success with the GSLV project after he joined it in April 2011. Since joining the project he has led it to the historical achievement of most successful GSLV flight with the indigenous cryogenic stage.
  • Sivan is a staunch believer and devotee of Sri Venkatachalapathy. Before launch of any mission , his practise is to vusit TIRUMALA and worship the Balaji.

Sivan has received various awards throughout his career, including Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from Sathyabama University, Chennai in April 2014

Shri Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr Vikram Sarabhai Research award for 1999.

ISRO Merit Award, 2007

Dr Biren Roy Space Science and/or Design Award, 2011

Distinguished Alumnus Award from MIT Alumni Association, 2013

ISRO award for outstanding achievement in 2016

Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT-Bombay, 2017

Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa), Sathyabama University & Dr MGR University, Chennai

When Chandrayaan-2, India’s second lunar mission, launch was pushed due to to a technical snag, K. Sivan had played a important role of keeping his team motivated. Chandrayaan-2 was then launched successfully by Indian Space Research Organisation from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

ISRO chief K Sivan while addressing the nation to announce that ISRO has successfully placed the Chandrayaan 2 in Earth’s orbit, had said,

“We bounced back in flying colours after the earlier technical snag. Success is coming after a hollow,” Sivan had credited the entire team of ISRO for the success.

“Not only ISRO and India, but the entire globe was waiting for this mission’s success, which we achieved now,” Sivan said.

These are your own words Sivan sir. Now the whole world is waiting for you to bounce back again with flying colors.

Your life stands as testament of your struggles and your larger than life accomplishments.

You are an inspiration to the whole country. We have not list our faith in you and capabilities of your team. We are sure you will flare our tricolor on moon very soon.

Thank you sir, for everything. Salutes to your humility and your dedication.

Dr Sindhu Prashanth