You Can Now Watch Missile Launches Live From A Stadium At ISRO Space Centre

The space agency says it wants to take "ISRO to people"

Have you always wanted to witness rocket launches like at Cape Canaveral? Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the country’s space agency will now allow people to watch the launches of its multi-storeyed rockets.

On Monday, PSLVC45 carrying a DRDO payload EMISAT, and 28 foreign satellites, will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. For the first time in India, people will be able to witness the launch from the space centre. The move of allowing citizens to enter the high-security space centre and witness rocket launches is inspired by the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The viewing gallery has been built like a stadium and can accommodate around 5,000 spectators. It was inaugurated by ISRO Chairman K Sivan on March 31, with an aim to take “ISRO to people”. Only Indian citizens above the age of 10 will be allowed to enter the space centre. Visitors will first have to fill up an online registration form after which they will get an entry pass which has to be presented at the gate. Video cameras and mobile phones are prohibited inside the premises, reports The Times of India.

In a similar move to develop scientific temper, ISRO has also introduced several student-related projects. Earlier, this year, it launched the “Young Scientist Programme” where it selected over 100 students from across the country. The students, mostly from Class 8—three each from 29 states and seven Union territories—will be given practical experience in building satellites. In the one-month course, the students will attend lectures by ISRO scientists and will be allowed to access ISRO’s laboratories. The entire programme will be funded by the space agency.