What if you had a chance to see exactly how a missile is operated? Well, you can now visit the Missile Park at Science City, Kolkata, and do just that. Shaped like a missile, the park opened on National Technology Day — May 11 — this year acquaints visitors with the Missile Man and six Indian missiles through their replicas.
My Kolkata took a tour of the Missile Park and here are five reasons why you should too.
#1 Free for all new attraction
The very first question that comes to anyone’s mind is about the charges. The Missile Park is a open to all attraction and absolutely free of any additional charges once you purchase the entry tickets to Science City. It has already started garnering attraction and audience, especially children who come with parents, guardians or teachers to know more about the missile technology which changed the face of the country in technological developments. It has also become the latest spot for taking innumerable selfies, groupfies and vlogs.
“The Missile Park has been developed jointly with the Centre for Millimeter-wave Semiconductor Devices and Systems (CMSDS) , a unit of the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). They are the organisation who develops the missiles. We were contacted by CMSDS and they wanted to display some of the missile models. We also thought it would be a good idea to have a missile display here which showcases the capability of India in terms of technology. All the missiles were sourced by DRDO.” remarked Sajoo Bhaskaran, curator, Science City.
#2 Shaped like a Missile
Interestingly, the entire Park is shaped like a missile. This may not be understandable on ground but a quick look from the ropeway makes the shape quite clear to the visitor. Bhaskaran mentioned, “APJ Abdul Kalam was a former director of the DRDO and the smaller missile models were part of a program which was directed by him. That’s why he is also called the Missile Man. It took us almost a year to develop this space.”
#3 Six Missile replicas
There are six missile replicas or models which were sent out by India at various stages of its technological development- Prithvi, Akash, Nag, Mission Shakti, BrahMos, and Astra. Each missile was sent out for a specific purpose and with the development in technology, the design and purpose of the missiles also varied. “Each missile has different capabilities. There’s Mission Shakti which was used to destroy a satellite in orbit. BrahMos is supersonic in nature which can be fired from land and sea.”
#4 Original Shell of Prithvi Missile
Here’s a fact, the shell for the Prithvi Missile is the original shell while the others are replica models. Do not miss out on viewing this historic missile in its glory. “Out of the ones displayed here Prithvi Missile is the original shell. Nothing is there inside but the shell is original. Others are real –sized models.” mentioned Bhaskaran. Prithvi is a short range ballistic missile and was the first to be developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program by DRDO.
#5 Educating the new generation
Science City has always taken up the responsibility of educating the future generations on all aspects of Science. The Missile Park is not only an attractive addition but also a centre for information and education for the students. The audio commentary running at the Park delivers informative anecdotes about the evolution of missiles in India in three languages- English, Hindi and Bangla. The cue cards also provide enough material about each of the models on display. Should further assistance be needed one can always enquire for guides at the help desk. The informative Missile Park aims to also make the students think about taking it up as a career. “There are challenging things to do in other field’s too.” signed off Bhaskaran.