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DMK minister publishes advertisement with Chinese flag on a rocket on the occasion of PM Modi launching ISRO’s new rocket launch pad in Tamil Nadu

The advertisement by DMK Minister Thiru Anita Radhakrishnan was published in several Tamil newspapers on 28 February., which showed the Chinese flag painted on a rocket

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is set to receive a second spaceport for small satellite launches in Kulasekarapattinam in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to lay the cornerstone for the significant project on 28th February (Wednesday). The move will prove to be geographically advantageous for the country.

Regarding the upcoming development, the state’s ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) published full front-page newspaper advertisements displaying pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister MK Stalin, DMK Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi Karunanidhi and other party leaders on Wednesday. The advertisement by DMK Minister Thiru Anita Radhakrishnan was published in several Tamil newspapers on 28 February.

However, in a shocking display of allegiance to China, the print advertisement uses an image of a Chinese rocket, instead of the image of an IRSO rocket. In the image, the top of the rocket is painted red with yellow stars, depicting the flag of China. The ad also depicts several other rockets in the background, but they are all foreign rockets. The promotion didn’t feature even one indigenous rocket to the shock of many.

Tamil Nadu BJP President K Annamalai slammed the DMK government over the advertisement. He said that ever since the ISRO’s second launch pad in Kulasekarapatinam was announced, DMK has been “desperate to paste stickers”.

He tweeted, “The amount of desperation only proves their attempt to bury their past misdeeds, but we must remind them that DMK was why the Satish Dhawan Space Centre is today in Andhra Pradesh & not Tamil Nadu.”

Annamalai also said that when the first launch pad was launched in Tamil Nadu, DMK minister Mathiyazhagan attended the inauguration ceremony in an “inebriated state”. He said, “When the 1st launch pad of ISRO was conceptualised, TN was the first choice of ISRO. TN CM Thiru Annadurai, who could not attend the meeting because of severe shoulder pain, deputed Mathiyazhagan, one of his ministers, for the meeting. ISRO officials were kept waiting for a long, and Mathiyazhagan was finally brought to the meeting in an “inebriated state” & was incoherent throughout the meeting. And, this was the treatment our country’s space programme received 60 years ago.”

“DMK hasn’t changed much & has only become worse!” the BJP leader added.

Posting the image of the ad published on another paper, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha tweeted, “

Rahul Gandhi’s obsession with China has travelled to his favourite alliance partner now. DMK uses Chinese rocket in its advertisement for ISRO’s new launch site in Kulasekarapattinam for which PM Modi lays the foundation stone today!”

Furthermore, the advertisement showed mega-sized and heavy-lift satellites whereas the facility is only dedicated to small ones. More importantly, launching big rockets from the region of Kulasekarapattinam would be perilous for safety.

Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation for the construction of a fresh plant that would span 2,233 acres in the districts of Sathankulam, Kulasekarapattinam and Padukkapathu, as well as the villages of Pallakurichi and Mathavankurichi. The state government has finished acquiring land for the large-scale project, which will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 950 crore. The centre’s decision to permit 100% Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the space industry swiftly preceded the event.

Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan informed, “The foundation ceremony is going to be held on February 28. PM Narendra Modi will lay the foundation of this historic project. The project is a boon in the field of science and technology for the state of Tamil Nadu.” 

The Tamil Nadu government is already working on establishing a Space Industrial and Propellants Park, which would occupy 2,000 acres in the district, to make use of the new complex and establish an ecosystem for the space industry in the area.

Rockets fired from Sriharikota currently have to travel east before turning south, which requires a detour because of Sri Lanka’s neighbouring airspace. The Telangana Governor stated that the proposed spaceport will eliminate the need for this deviation and that the site is closer to the Equator than Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Additionally, Mahendragiri, the location of ISRO’s propulsion complex is 88 kilometres closer to Kulasekaranpattinam than it is to Sriharikota (780 miles). This proximity will speed up and lower the cost of rocket component delivery.

ISRO scientists also confirmed that satellites launched from Kulasekarapattinam spaceport will save fuel because they can head directly southward, unlike those launched from Sriharikota, which fly in a southeasterly direction after taking off from the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre to avoid flying over Sri Lanka and then make a sharp turn towards the South Pole.

India’s space organisation intends to use the Kulasekaranpattinam spaceport for the commercial launch of the small satellites. The cost of launching small satellites from Sriharikota is higher because the rocket has to travel a longer distance. The rocket’s cargo capacity is lowered because of the increased distance, which forces the rocket to carry additional fuel. The new spaceport will provide a solution to this problem.

The governor added, “Kulasekaranpattinam is all set to witness phenomenal growth, thanks to satellite-based space technology and the efforts of the central government. Scientists predict that a number of allied industries will come up in the neighbourhood. This will create thousands of jobs, benefitting Thoothukudi district.”

Meanwhile, ISRO has scheduled the launch of the Rohini Sounding Rocket to mark the momentous occasion. “ISRO had planned to launch a Rohini Sounding Rocket ‘RH–200’ from its new spaceport at Kulasekarapattinam between 9.30 a.m. on February 28 and 2 p.m. on February 29. Hence, ISRO had declared the area stretching up to 10 nautical miles (18 km) from the shoreline between Manappad Lighthouse and Periyathazhai groyne a ‘danger zone’ and warned fishermen and small ships against entering the zone,” mentioned District Collector G. Lakshmipathi in a statement.

S Somanath, the head of ISRO, stated in January that the space agency will be able to launch rockets at a faster pace and with a greater cargo capacity owing to the new spaceport. Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh is home to the first spaceport, Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

When a drunk DMK Minister forced Vikram Sarabhai to drop his plans for a rocket launch pad in Tamil Nadu

Nowadays, it is rare to find someone in the country who hasn’t heard about Sriharikota. Since the launch of India’s sole launch site, Satish Dhawan Space Centre, this barrier island has been the focus of the nation’s attention as it hosted ISRO’s second moon mission, Chandrayaan 2.

However, only a few individuals are aware that if Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) co-founder K A Mathiazhagan hadn’t damaged the possibilities, this very well might have been Tamil Nadu’s pride. Tamil Nadu lost a great chance to host India’s sole rocket launch pad due to the DMK leader’s actions and demands, imminent scientist Nambi Narayanan recounted in his book “Ready To Fire: How India and I Survived the ISRO Spy Case.”

It read, “Not many know that Sriharikota itself was not ISRO’s first choice for a launch pad. I was one of the few sites identified by senior ISRO scientist R M Vasagam, another being a place south of Nagapattinam. Both were in Tamil Nadu. For launching polar satellites, it was clear to us, that our launch pad had to be on the eastern coast. Launching the rocket along the spin of the earth, it gave a huge advantage of cost; also by manoeuvring the rocket to the south after its initial eastward journey, we avoid flying over any landmass. The coastline of Kanyakumari was considered in the late 1960s, but a terrible mishandling by the government of Tamil Nadu, and a timely pitch by Andhra Pradesh, made Sriharikota happen.”

Source – Ready To Fire: How India and I Survived the ISRO Spy Case.

Nambi Narayanan further unveiled, “Tamil Nadu Chief Minister C N Annadurai was to participate in a discussion with (Vikram) Sarabhai and a few scientists and officials over the identification of a site from a shortlist proposed by Vikram Sarabhai. Annadurai could not attend the meeting because of severe shoulder pain, and he deputed Mathiyazhagan, one of his ministers, for the meeting. Sarabhai was kept waiting, and after some time, the minister was ‘brought’ to the meeting – with a few holding him from falling. The politician irritated Sarabhai to no end with his impossible demands and incoherence. Much before the meeting got over, Sarabhai had decided Tamil Nadu is not the place to be.”

Source – Ready To Fire: How India and I Survived the ISRO Spy Case.

He added, “Just then Andhra Pradesh made an offer virtually nobody could refuse. Take the 26,000-acre Sriharikota island, he told Sarabhai. With India’s rocket launch pad coming up there, the Andhra Pradesh government must have realised that the sparsely inhabited place may see some development. There were a few fishing hamlets along the Bay of Bengal on one side of the island, which had a lagoon (Pulicat Lake) on the other side. Villagers on the inland side were also cooperative. ISRO had to lay a road across the lagoon to reach the island where now stands two launch pads and a few other facilities. Today, a rocket lifting off, spewing fire and smoke reflected on the Pulicat Lake, where migratory flamingoes come to roost is quite a sight.”

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