Establishment of a factory in moon, for instance to source Helium III as a resource to meet the power crisis in Earth, is achievable by 2030, said eminent scientist A Sivathanu Pillai, founder of BrahMos. He added that the scientific community including himself is working on development of hypersonic engine, which travels 25 times faster than sound and can carry more weight in space.
Speaking to reporters in the sidelines of a function in which he was honoured by the Rotary Club of Madras with Lifetime Achievement Award, Pillai said, “I think that in another 30 years, by 2030, the man mission to moon would be at a level of creating industry there. I am expecting 2030 as a target for establishment of factories in the moon.” This is currently just a concept, he said.
He added that thinking big is necessary to achieve big goals, which is evident from the achievements of India’s space and defence science.
Considering the size of demand for power and the quantity which the country is able to supply, there would be more nuclear power facilities required and given various other factors, it is also difficult to build such capacities. Another available option is to use Helium III, which is abundand in Moon. However, the current problem is how one would bring this resource to Earth.
The hypersonic spacecrafts, which would be able to utilise technology to collect air while it is traveling and convert it into fuel, could increase the capacity of spacecraft to carry more weight, which would help the space reasearch organisation and in various defence purposes. Earlier this year, he said that it would require a very big technology named Scramjet, and it is expecting that it would take five years to develop the technology, for hypersonic model. The propulsion system Scramjet is a Supersonic Combustion Ramjet, in which the oxygen for the engine to combust would be taken from the air passing through the vehicle, instead of from a tank onboard.
Speaking about increasing the speed of the spacecrafts for better performance, he said that the Hypersonic technology would help the country to achieve this. “We have got the configuration, which makes it possible with one third of the cost of the existing cost,” he said.
Answering a question on the status of the test flight of BrahMos supersonic missile from an aircraft, he said that it is expected to complete in a year’s time. As reported earlier, the test flight was expected to start from the end of this year. Pillai, former CEO and Managing Director for BrahMos and former Chief Controller, Research & Development, DRDO, is currently the Chairman of Board of Governors of National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra and Visiting Professor of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.