Failure to success it was fine for the launch Abdul Kalam had worked for seven long years for this moment the whole team waited anxiously as slv-3.
India’s first satellite launch vehicle was prepared for the launch the comedown began ten nine eight seven six five four three two one liftoff the first stage performed to perfection we stood spellbound watching our hopes.
Soaring in the form of slv-3 suddenly the spell was broken the second stage went out of control and the flight was terminated after 317 seconds the rocket crashed into the sea and all our hopes drowned with.
It one moment there was magic the next a feeling of utter hopelessness this event came as a big shock to most of us I felt angry and frustrated a press conference was scheduled the causes of the failure were to be discussed I felt responsible for the crash and a dread filled my heart.
I knew that the press would be full of critics waiting to blame my team and me but my chairman professor Satish Dhawan took the mic from and answered all the questions confidently his composure and his clarity of thought really impressed me Abdul Kalam said these are very complex missions we have to find out what went wrong correct it.
Then make sure that it’s not repeated he also added I am confident that in exactly a year’s time we can successfully place a satellite in orbit his last sentence made my heart soar I had hardly slept for the past week and I went straight to my room and fell on my bed exactly one year later.
On 18th July 1918 the whole nation was watching us again it was time for the launch that was going to change the future of the indian space program in the early hours of the day slv-3 lifted off the satellite was successfully put into orbit.
Then I got the opportunity to speak the most important words I have ever uttered in my life mission director calling all stations all stages performed successfully and the Rohini satellite is now in orbit there was a loud cheer everywhere.
When I came out of the building my colleagues lifted me on their shoulders and paraded me around the launching pad it was my proudest and happiest moment I was so proud of my team the whole nation was excited.
India had made its entry into the small elite group of Nations that possessed satellite launch capability every newspaper carried headlines of the event a press conference was held once again and I requested professors at East Harlem to address it.
But this time he turned the mic towards me and let me face the questions he knew how hard I had worked for the project and thought I should be given the privilege of facing the press that day.
I learned how a leader guides his team taking the blame when faced with failure and sharing the praise in the event of success I hoped that someday Abdul Kalam could also support my team in the same way.