Dr. T N SURESH KUMAR: MAHAYATRI - THE GREAT INDIAN TRAVELLER
T N Suresh Kumar is a Senior Space Scientist by profession, but he is a man on wheels, because he has travelled more than 150+ countries and all the 7 continents. Many of us think or imagine that scientist means - a person with no personal life or any enjoyment, but here is an example of such a scientist who is the most inspirational person for many younger generations. Like everyone, he also had a turning point in his life. What is that, how could he achieve all his dreams? - let us see in the upcoming paragraphs.
FIRST INDIAN TO GOTO ‘EDGE OF SPACE –STRATOSPHERE’ AS A TOURIST.
FIRST INDIAN TO EXPERIENCE ZERO GRAVITY FLIGHT FROM YURI GAGARIN SPACE CENTER, RUSSIA AS A TOURIST.
FIRST INDIAN TO EXPLORE THE SAHARA DESERT.
FIRST INDIAN TO REACH THE SUMMIT OF NYIRAGONGO ACTIVE VOLCANO IN CONGO.
VISITED ALL THE 7 CONTINENTS AND MORE THAN 150+ COUNTRIES
Suresh Kumar graduated from Institute of Electronics & Telecommunication Engineers, New Delhi. Later his urge to serve the nation landed him at Space Application Center, ISRO in 1978.
He contributed for the development of Bhaskara Satellite, an earth observation satellite built by the Indian Space Research Organization[ISRO]. The satellite telemetry data is used for analysis of oceanography and hydrology. Both satellites were named after ancient Indian mathematicians.
Later, he was assigned to work on India’s First Communication Satellite – Ariane Passenger Payload Experiment (APPLE). It was an experimental communication satellite successfully launched by Ariane-1, from Kourou, French Guiana on June 19, 1981.
In 1981, he was relocated to Master Control Facility, Hassan to work for Indian Natinal Satellite System(INSAT) series of satellites. The first satellite INSAT-1A was launched in 1982 built by Ford Aerospace Communication Corporation (FACC). He received training on spacecraft operations which include launch activities, station keeping maneuvers and eclipse operations.
In 1984, ISRO in collaboration with NASA wanted to send an Indian Payload Specialist to Space, for which ISRO carried out a series of tests and screening of scientists (almost 850+) all over the nation willing to participate for its space shuttle program. ISRO shortlisted 4 Scientists of which, Suresh Kumar was one of them. But, his dreams were shattered due to the space shuttle challenger disaster in 1986, which killed all the 7 astronauts. Later, NASA dropped this program. This was a great disappointment in his life. However, he continued to serve ISRO and contributed for many more projects. Suresh was involved in launching and mission operations of more than 30+ satellites.
Suresh was born in a lower-middle class family. He completed his schooling at National High School and National College. From his childhood days, he was always curious and eager to know more and more and his quest of knowledge made him scale high in his life. He got married to Geetha, a Scientist, who was also working in ISRO as his colleague. As both of them were working for ISRO, it was easy for them to understand the work load and the pressure.
After the ‘challenger’ disaster, Suresh spent many sleepless nights. It took almost 6 to 7 months for Suresh to get over this disappointment. One fine day he decided that he would go to every nook and corner of this world, if not space. He fixed a goal for his life “EXLORE THE WORLD”, as his dream of traveling to space got shattered. So, what was once a breakdown, became a breakthrough in 2014 on 15th August i.e India’s Independence Day when he became the first Indian & 259th person in the world to go to ‘The Edge of Space - the stratosphere’ as a tourist from Russia.
To fulfill his dream, he and his wife started saving money and storing leave for 15 years. He started travelling from 1998. He is a theme traveler (who selects a theme to travel with a specific purpose). From then on till date Suresh has visited all the 7 continents & 153 countries around the globe.
So, guys how many of you want to build up your career like him and try to achieve just like him, travel round the world and become an international personality.
Sit, think, and contemplate what we have done in our life or what we have achieved in our life. These are the hard realities and also the successful story of Suresh Kumar’s life. After all these, comes the interesting part of his life – Globetrotting & his achievements.
This is just the 1st chapter of his life.
Wait for some time to get to know more about his life in subsequent days.