#19 ISRO Space Scientist & the great Traveler: Dr TN Suresh Kumar

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Dr. T. N. Suresh Kumar, a versatile space scientist, shares his remarkable journey and insights into space exploration, satellite technology, and scientific curiosity. He emphasizes the importance of scientific temperament and encourages ordinary people to contribute to space research. He also discusses ISRO’s role in communication, disaster warning, and interplanetary missions, as well as the future plans of ISRO and the significance of World Space Week. The conversation covers a wide range of topics related to space exploration, data analysis, satellite technology, and the inspiration drawn from Dr. Abdul Kalam. The speaker shares insights on the availability of public data, the fascination with space, the challenges of space debris, the concept of self-heating satellites, the significance of private startups in the space industry, and the motivation for space exploration. The conversation also delves into the life and teachings of Dr. Abdul Kalam, the importance of simplicity, the concept of time travel, and the speaker’s travel experiences in various countries. Dr. Suresh Kumar shares his passion for scientific exploration, perseverance, and the importance of experiencing the world firsthand. He discusses his journey from being selected for a space mission to his extensive travels and adventures. He emphasizes the value of learning, embracing diverse cultures, and the role of scientific thinking in everyday life.In this episode of Rocklaz Radio, Tanmay Shah and Laura Grinbarga discuss books and podcasts they have read and listened to. They share their favorite podcasts, such as Akimbo and Freakonomics, and talk about the benefits of reading digitally and listening to audiobooks. They recommend books like The Artist’s Way, Big Magic, and The War of Art for creative inspiration. They also discuss the importance of finding the right time to read and making notes while reading. The conversation touches on spirituality in art and the impact of books like The Alchemist and Siddhartha. They also mention books on negotiation and personal development, such as Think and Grow Rich and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The conversation covered a wide range of topics, including book recommendations, favorite genres, and spiritual and philosophical discussions. Some of the recommended books include ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear, ‘The Warrior’s Apprentice’ by Lois McMaster Bujold, ‘The Silver Metal Lover’ by Tanith Lee, ‘Mahabharata’ and ‘Bhagavad Gita’ by Shri Shri Ravishankar, and ‘Business Sutras’ by Devdutt Patnayak. The conversation also touched on the importance of finding balance and substance in the content we consume.


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00:00 Journey of a Space Scientist: Dr. T. N. Suresh Kumar’s Inspiring Story
03:01 ISRO’s Role in Space Exploration and National Development
32:17 Fostering Scientific Curiosity: Encouraging Ordinary People to Contribute to Space Research
34:40 World Space Week: Educating and Inspiring the Next Generation of Scientists
36:34 Exploring Space and Data: Insights from the Conversation
39:29 Challenges and Innovations in Satellite Technology
42:46 Inspiration from Dr. Abdul Kalam: Teachings and Legacy
50:27 The Significance of Private Startups in Space Exploration
01:07:23 Travel Experiences and Insights from Around the World
01:13:12 The Drive for Scientific Exploration
01:18:29 Global Adventures and Cultural Immersion
01:28:58 Perspectives on God, Religion, and Humanity
01:35:11 Thrilling Adventures and the Edge of Space
01:40:01 Dealing with Setbacks and Emotional Attachment
01:44:54 Life Lessons and Concluding Thoughts



• Dr. T. N. Suresh Kumar’s journey from a humble background to becoming a pioneering space scientist is an inspiring example of perseverance and passion for exploration.
• ISRO’s focus on communication, disaster warning, and interplanetary missions highlights its commitment to national development and scientific advancement.
• The encouragement of scientific curiosity and the involvement of ordinary people in space research through incubator centers and outreach programs are key to fostering scientific innovation and progress.
• The significance of World Space Week in educating and inspiring young minds to pursue scientific endeavors and contribute to the development of space technology. The availability of public data and the importance of open access to information for space exploration.
• The challenges and significance of space debris and the concept of self-heating satellites for sustainable satellite technology.
• The role of private startups in the space industry and the motivation for space exploration.
• The teachings and inspiration drawn from Dr. Abdul Kalam, emphasizing simplicity, continuous learning, and the transfer of knowledge to the next generation.
• The speaker’s travel experiences and insights gained from visiting various countries around the world. Passion drives scientific exploration and the pursuit of knowledge.
• Perseverance and resilience are essential in overcoming setbacks and disappointments.
• Experiencing the world firsthand leads to a deeper understanding of scientific concepts and cultural diversity.
• Scientific thinking and curiosity can be applied to everyday life, enriching personal experiences and interactions.
• Learning and embracing diverse cultures contribute to personal growth and a broader perspective on life.


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