Chennai: It was an unusual morning at the hostel of D.G.Vaishnav College for arts and science on Wednesday morning. Unlike most days, the hostel halls were buzzing with activity as students made a beeline to the television room as early as 5 a.m. It was not the India-Pakistan cricket match or the Oscar awards that the students watched with joy but the successful insertion of Mangalyaan, India’s mars orbiter, in the Martian orbit.
Several students who had been on a holiday rushed to the hostel late in the night, as they did not want to miss to watch the Mangalyaan live telecast on television.
The spacious television hall which otherwise used to be deserted in the mornings except when there was an early morning cricket match or some earth shattering incident was filled with over 100 students of the total 150 hostelites not only from the science departments but also from arts and commerce who wanted to witness the historic space odyssey.
By about 6 am students started to move into the television hall as the news about Mangalyaan spread like forest fire and by 7.30 when the mission hit the crucial point, the hall was bursting with more than 100 students who even refused to get up for a coffee break.
K.S.Sridharan, first year M.Sc (Physics) student, was seen busy explaining to the undergraduate students about the various manoeuvres the ISRO scientists did to push the craft into the final orbit.
“I had to browse websites of Isro and Nasa for over three hours to learn about the different techniques scientists will use in the final few minutes as this is the first time the Indian scientists are doing,” Sridharan said.
A group of students picked up a debate with the other team among them whether it would have been possible for NASA or any other foreign space agency to implement such a mission at a lesser cost.
The mood was upbeat at the hostel. Vishal Agarwal, third year B.Com student and a group of students prayed to God for Mangalyaan’s success.
The hostel students with their principal Prof. M. Venkatramanan and other faculty watched the final nail-biting countdown on television. When the orbiter moved into the Martian orbit, the thunderous applause by students broke the early morning silence and slogans like “Jai Hind” and “Jai Ho” reverberated on the hostel campus.
They hugged each other in joy and set out in jubilation as ISRO chairman Dr K.Radhakrishnan declared the successful insertion of the orbiter into the Martian orbit...
Location: Tamil Nadu