Space agency chief S Somanath on Sunday said he wants to explore both science and spirituality amid a section of internet users raking up the ‘science vs religion’ debate over scientists visiting temples.
He also said there is nothing wrong in Prime Minister Narendra Modi naming the Chandrayaan-3 touchdown spot as Shiv Shakti point.
#WATCH | On his visit to Pournamikavu, Bhadrakali Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, ISRO Chairman S Somanath says, “I am an explorer. I explore the Moon. I explore the inner space. So it’s a part of the journey of my life to explore both science and spirituality. So I visit many… pic.twitter.com/QkZZAdDyX3
— ANI (@ANI) August 27, 2023
Mr Somanath is the hero of the Chandrayaan-3 mission as the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), with India now part of an elite space club that has landed on the Moon.
He offered prayers at a temple in Kerala on Saturday following the big success.
“I am an explorer. I explore the Moon. I explore the inner space. It’s a part of the journey of my life to explore both science and spirituality. I visit many temples and I read many scriptures. I try to find the meaning of our existence and our journey in this cosmos,” he said.
A team of ISRO scientists had visited the Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh ahead of the Chandrayaan-3 mission in July, which triggered a debate over mixing science and spirituality.
Mr Somanath said it’s a part of Indian culture to explore both inner as well as outer selves. “For the outer, I do science, for the inner I come to temples,” added the top scientist.
He also endorsed the ‘Shiv Shakti Point’ name given to Chandrayaan-3 touchdown spot by PM Modi.
“The Prime Minister narrated the meaning of it in a manner that suits all of us. I think there is nothing wrong with that. He gave the next name to Tiranga and both are Indian-sounding names. He has a prerogative of naming it being the Prime Minister of the country,” said Mr Somanath.
He also shared an update on the Chandrayaan-3 mission and said the rover is working fine.
“All five instruments on board the rover have been switched on. We hope to complete all experiments by September 3. There are different modes for which it has to be tested so we have the best picture ever of the Moon,” said Mr Somanath.