Long ago, India pedaled into Rocket Technology setting example of humble approach towards a scientific goal. A little over four decades ago, she used a bicycle to transport the rocket component which was to be launched a couple of hours later from Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Facility in Kerala in Southern India. A touching and self-narrating photograph of two scientists carrying the rocket payload on a bicycle was published in “The Times of India” on 1st March 2006. The scientist who dragged the bicycle carrying the payload was C.R. Sathya. His boss at that time was none other than, His Excellency A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, now President of Republic of India. It was said even a bullock cart was used to transport the other heavy rocket parts to the launching site. Subsequently the newspaper carried an article about the bicycle transport of the rocket payload in its issue dated 05th March, 2006. Though the year of this event happening is conflicting in the articles and the photograph, it could be said that it was published on the occasion of 40th anniversary of India’s first rocket launch.
The rocket was imported from U.S and the payload came from France. It was a challenge to match these both and make the assembly. Prof. P.D. Bhavsar, former Physics teacher at University of Minnesota came up with the idea to scrape the payload at the edges with a hand tool until it fits into the rocket. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who was a payload assistant then, helped Prof. Bhavsar in the scraping work. After the rocket was assembled some young scientists got an idea to paint the rocket just before it was launched. Hence India’s first rocket went up into space with wet paint on it.