Chennai: DMK president M Karunanidhi today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to set up an aerospace propulsion technology institute and the second rocket launch pad in Tamil Nadu.
In a letter to Dr Singh, Mr Karunanidhi said: "The Indian Institute of Space Technology in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, established by ISRO, focuses mainly on Space Science related studies. But there is an urgent and pressing need to establish an Institute dedicated to aerospace and propulsion Studies."
He said there was an acute shortage of aerospace and propulsion experts in our country.
"I suggest that the campus of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, Mahendragiri (in Tamil Nadu) will be ideally suited for establishing this kind of Indian Institute of AeroSpace and Propulsion Technology to focus on the fields like aerospace, propulsion, high speed flights, airCraft and helicopter building, as sufficient extent of lands and technical leadership are available here."
Referring to the plans of Department of Space to establish a second rocket launch site during the 12th Five Year Plan, Mr Karunanidhi said, "Considering the data and details available with me, I am of the view that Kulasekarapattinam in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) District in Tamil Nadu will be best suited to construct a new launch site."
He said the place was near the equator and other centres of ISRO and is also evaluated as the best site next to French Guinea.