In a remarkable display of his dedication to both science and spirituality, S Somanath, the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), visited the renowned Bhadrakali Temple in Thiruvananthapuram’s Pournamikavu. During his visit, Somanath shared insights into his personal philosophy and provided updates on ISRO’s successful mission, Chandrayaan-3.
Somanath expressed his belief that the pursuit of knowledge extends beyond scientific exploration to encompass spirituality as well. “I am an explorer. I explore the Moon. I explore the inner space,” he said. “So it’s a part of the journey of my life to explore both science and spirituality. So I visit many temples and I read many scriptures. So [I] try to find the meaning of our existence and our journey in this cosmos. So it’s a part of the culture that we are all built to explore and find out the inner self as well as the outer self. So for the outer, I do science, for the inner I come to temples…”
Providing updates on Chandrayaan-3, Somanath conveyed his enthusiasm for the mission’s progress. “Everything is working very well. Chandrayaan-3, the lander, the rover is very healthy, and all the five instruments on board have been switched on. And it’s giving beautiful data now,” he revealed. He expressed optimism about completing all the experiments in the upcoming days, leading up to September 3rd. He explained that the mission had entered a crucial testing phase, with various modes of operation being examined to ensure its full capability.
Somanath also discussed the decision to name the Chandrayaan-3 touchdown point as ‘Shiva Shakti’. He indicated that the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, had personally chosen the name, explaining its significance in a way that resonated with the entire nation. “I think there is nothing wrong with that. And also, he gave the next name to Tiranga [Indian tricolor flag], and both are Indian-sounding names,” Somanath noted. He emphasized the importance of attaching meaningful names to endeavors, especially considering the significance of the mission and the role of the Prime Minister in naming it.
As Somanath’s visit to the Bhadrakali Temple underlines the intersection of science and spirituality, his updates on Chandrayaan-3 highlight ISRO’s continued commitment to pushing the boundaries of space exploration. With the mission progressing well and the anticipation building up, India eagerly awaits the groundbreaking discoveries that Chandrayaan-3 is set to uncover, while also acknowledging the deeper connections between human exploration and our quest for understanding the cosmos.