MACE alumnus as director of the Gaganyaan – article by Grace George

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Dr. Unnikrishnan Nair, an alumnus of Mar Athanasius College of Engineering, Kothamangalam, has been named as the director of Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC), an ISRO arm formed to train astronauts for Gaganyaan, India’s human spacecraft programme. Gaganyaan is an Indian crewed orbital spacecraft intended to be the basis of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme. The spacecraft is being designed to carry three people, and a planned upgraded version will be equipped with rendezvous and docking capability.

Dr. Unnikrishnan Nair from Kottayam, is the son of late Sreedharan Nair, a staff of survey office, kottayam and Rajamma. He completed his schooling at Emmanuels School, Kothanallor and NSS School, Manjoor. He graduated from Mar Athanasius College of Engineering (1986) . He completed his Master’s at IIS Bengaluru in 1995 and doctorate from IIT Madras.

He is one among the two keralite scientists helming India’s space mission ‘Gaganyaan’. Dr. Unnikrishnan Nair joined Human Space Flight Centre in Bengaluru on Friday. It is a 20 member Bengaluru based mission assigned for the Gaganyaan mission. Dr. Nair is the director of Advanced Space Transportation Programme at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. Earlier, Mr Nair led the team that successfully developed ‘Crew Escape System’ that involves the rescue of astronauts in case of flight emergencies in 2018. India is the fourth nation to own this technology. “Success in the two earlier projects may have brought me this opportunity”, said Dr. Nair.

This is indeed a moment of great rejoice for the MACE community, and an inspiration for up-and-coming graduates.

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