I have made this page in memory of my friend Shashi Damle with which me connected many long years teamwork.
It is very grateful for the help to Prof. A.P. Rao and Dr. A.S. Glyanenko.
de Vladi
С.В. Дамле
Shashikant Vinayak Damle

Indian science after independence can be grouped into three distinct periods: the heady days of nation building of the fifties and the sixties, the post-Pokhran-I days of difficult economic and technological conditions and the recent upwardly mobile period coinciding with the economic revival of the country. Shashi Damle, who straddled the first two, sowed the seeds of several of the present day activities, much ahead of his time.
Shashi Damle (b: Feb 2, 1936) did his M.Sc. from Ruparel college, Bombay in 1959 and joined the Third batch of the BARC training school. After a year's training, he joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) to work in the High Altitude Studies group. It was a transitional period when much of the research in particle physics studies moved on from the study of cosmic rays to accelerator based work.
His early work centered around the study of cosmic rays: composition of primary cosmic rays (for his PhD under Prof. M.G.K. Menon) and, later at University of New Hampshire (with Prof. Webber), measuring the charge and isotope composition of light elements (Li, Be and B). In this period, he established himself as an experimental scientist and worked with a variety of detectors: like plastic scintillators, gas Cerenkov counter and spark chamber-emulsion magnet spectrograph.

During the seventies and eighties, the space race between the then super-powers, USA and USSR, resulted in an astounding progress in Space Astronomy, and left many in this field in India far behind. Shashi Damle was painfully aware of this "technological gap" and from the very beginning he was committed to develop infrastructure in India for high quality experiments: he was a part of the study group which initiated the large steerable radio telescope at Ootacamund; he was the lead person to develop the neutron and gamma-ray detector for the first Indian scientific satellite "Aryabhata" and also lead the collaborative X-ray astronomy experiment between TIFR and University of Calgary for a decade. He also played a major role in the development of the National Balloon Facility at Hyderabad and took several new initiatives like the introduction of high speed telemetry, beacon communication for safety etc.
"Aryabhata" was India's first satellite, named after the great Indian astronomer of the same name. It was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975 from Kapustin Yar using a "Cosmos-3M" launch vehicle. "Aryabhata" was built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). "Aryabhata" carried three payloads - one each for X-ray, astronomy, solar physics and aeronomy. The mission was a success and provided the early experience to ISRO for planning, developing and managing a satellite mission.
"Aryabhata" - India's first satellite
Гамма-телескоп ''Наталия-1'' в полёте. 3 ноября 1977 г.
Gamma telescope "Natalia-1" in flight. On November, 3rd 1977

Shashi Damle understood the importance of rocket and satellite technology for space experiments. In April, 1976 during the meeting of the Indian and Soviet experts in consideration of technical questions of the second Indian artificial satellite (СЕО) and cooperation prospects on research of space Shashi Damle together with the Soviet colleagues initiated a collaborative balloon program India and the USSR.
On April, 23rd, 1976 the cooperation agreement in the field of research of gamma quanta and the charged particles in a stratosphere between "Interkosmos" Council of Academy of sciences of the USSR and ISRO (the Indian organisation on space studying) has been concluded. From the Soviet party in program realisation participate Lebedev Phisical Institute (FIAN) with device "Albedo-InD" and MEPhI with gamma telescopes "Anna-6" and "Natalia-1". With Indian party - the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Bombay), providing Balloon Facility (Hyderabad), balloons, a platform of orientation, means of start and equipment selection. Shashi Damle has worked hard for the organisation and successful performance of project GRISP (Gamma-Ray India Soviet Project).
Flights of balloons under project GRISP
Date Payload Range
23.10.1977 "Anna-6" Hyderabad
27.10.1977 "Albedo-Ind" Hyderabad
03.11.1977 "Natalia-1" Hyderabad
04.11.1977 "Anna-6" Hyderabad
30.03.1979 "Anna-6" Hyderabad
08.04.1979 "Anna-6" Hyderabad
09.04.1979 "Natalia-1" Hyderabad
12.04.1979 "Albedo-Ind" Hyderabad
20.08.1979 "Natalia-1" Volsk
28.08.1979 "Natalia-1" Volsk
06.11.1980 "Natalia-1" Hyderabad
Подготовка платформы ориентации
Click on the images to see the big pictures
Balloon facility, Hyderabad
S.V. Damle and J.G. Devdhekar prepare the platform of orientation. On March, 19th 1979.
Balloon facility, Hyderabad
At the platform of orientation with the gamma telescope "Anna-6".
A.T. Kothare, A.V. Kurochkin, N.G. Leikov, Yu.V. Smirnov, S.V. Damle, V.G. Tyshkevich, Vasu, J.G. Devdhekar, V.N. Yurov, M.I. Fradkin, G.F. Platonov, et al. On March, 25th 1979.
At the platform of orientation with the gamma telescope ''Anna-6''
План предстартовой поготовки, составленный С.В. Дамле и Ю.Д. Котовым
Balloon facility, Hyderabad
The plan of preparation for the gamma telescope "Natalia-1" launch, made S.V. Damle and Yu.D. Kotov. On March, 28th 1979.
Balloon facility, Hyderabad
The Indian team at the gamma telescope "Natalia-1". On March, 29th 1979.
Индийская команда у подвески с гамма-телескопом ''Наталия-1''. Слева А.Т. Катари, в центре - Дэо, С.В. Дамле. 29 марта 1979 г.
С.В. Дамле на крыше станции
Balloon facility, Hyderabad
S.V. Damle on the Balloon facility roof. On April, 12th 1979.
TIFR, Bombay
From the TATA institute annual report for 1979-1980.
Из годового отчёта TIFR за 1979-1980 гг.
С.В. Дамле
S.V. Damle. November 1980.
Consulate of the USSR, Bombay
Envelope with autographs of the Indian colleagues - participants of reception in the consulate of the USSR. On November, 20th 1980.
Конверт с автографами индийских коллег - участников приёма в консульстве СССР в Бомбее
Новогоднее поздравление от семьи Дамле
Happy New Year!
New Year's congratulation from Damle's family. January 1982.

On March, 21st 1981 in FIAN (Moscow) has passed meeting of the Soviet and Indian experts on discussion of results (the flight data) gamma telescope "Natalia-1" and the future cooperation in gamma astronomy. Participants from the Indian side: S.V. Damle, A.V. John, from the Soviet side: M.I. Fradkin, L.V. Kurnosova (FIAN); Yu.D. Kotov, V.N. Yurov, Yu.V. Smirmov, V.G. Tyshkevich (MEPhI) et al.
Several years later according to the general desire participants of the Soviet-Indian experiments have prepared offers on the second phase of cooperation consisting in carrying out of joint satellite experiment on the basis of a gamma telescope "Natalia-2" and have directed them in "Interkosmos" Council and ISRO.
Note from magazine "Spaceflight", Vol. 24, 2 February 1982.
The plan of works under the joint program with S.V. Damle's marks

In 1987 as object for gamma telescopes the automatic orbiting station with orientation to Sun has been given - "the AUOS-SM", developed in KB "Yuznoe" (Dnepropetrovsk). This station has formed a basis for the project "CORONAS". To the third in a series of satellites "CORONAS" should become space vehicle "CORONAS-PHOTON" ("AUOS-SM-PHOTON"). Parent organisations - Lebedev Phisical Institute (the supervisor of studies of the project S.I. Nikolsky) and MEPhI (the deputy the supervisor of studies and technical project head Yu.D. Kotov).
On July, 3rd 1987 the Secretary general of the Central Committee of the CPSU M.S. Gorbachev and the Prime minister of India Radzhiv Gandi have signed Integrated Long Term Programme in Science and Technology between the USSR and India. Joint Soviet-Indian experiment on gamma astronomy "Natalia-2" on companion "AUOS-SM-PHOTON" became a part of this program. The structure of the scientific equipment of the companion included a gamma telescope "Natalia-2M" and the Indian x-ray telescope "RT-2".
On February, 8-19th, 1988 in Moscow 1st meeting of the Soviet and Indian experts on discussion of joint satellite experiment has taken place. Participants of meeting: S.I. Nikolsky, A.P. Kostin (FIAN); Ju.D. Kotov, V.N. Jurov, V.G. Tyshkevich (MEPhI); S.V. Damle (TIFR).
The joint Indo-Soviet Gamma ray Satellite experiment, code named GRISP, was planned for a possible launch in 1992. However, due to unfavorable political situation in the Soviet Union and the consequent breaking of the union, this project was delayed inordinately.
П.К. Кунте, В.Н. Юров, А.С. Гляненко, Ю.Д. Котов, В.М. Бровко, С.В. Дамле, Г.В. Тарасов. 30 марта 1989 г.
TIFR, Bombay
4th meeting of the Soviet and Indian scientists devoted to joint gamma astronomical experiment. 15th March - 14th April, 1989.
P.K. Kunte, V.N. Yurov, A.S. Glyanenko, Yu.D. Kotov, V.M. Brovko, S.V. Damle, G.V. Tarasov. 30th March, 1989.
TIFR, Bombay
4th meeting of the Soviet and Indian scientists devoted to joint gamma astronomical experiment. 15th March - 14th April, 1989.
A.T. Kothare, S. Naranam, S.B.Janawalekar, A.R. Rao, S.V. Damle, M.N.Vahia, Yu.D. Kotov, V.N. Yurov, A.S. Glyanenko. March, 1989.
За столом переговоров. А.Т. Катари, С. Наранам, С.Б. Джанвелекар. А.Р. Рао, С.В. Дамле, М.Н. Вахия, Ю.Д. Котов, В.Н. Юров, А.С. Гляненко. Март 1989 г.
Г.В. Тарасов, А.Р. Рао, В.Г. Тышкевич, Н.М. Вахия, В.М. Бровко, В.Н. Юров, Ю.Д. Котов, С.В. Дамле. 27 апреля 1990 г.
TIFR, Bombay
6th meeting of the Soviet and Indian experts on joint satellite experiment. April, 10th - May, 3rd, 1990.
Stand: G.V.  Tarasov, A.R. Rao, V.G. Tyshkevich, M.N. Vahia; sit: V.M. Brovko, V.N. Yurov, Yu.D. Kotov, S.V. Damle. 27th April, 1990.
The invitation to evening in the House of the Soviet Culture in Bombay. 18th April, 1990.
Приглашение на вечер в доме советской культуры в Бомбее. 18 апреля 1990 г.
В.Н. Юров, В.Г. Тышкевич, С.В. Дамле у габаритно-весового макета
FIAN, Moscow
8th meeting of the Indian, Russian and Ukrainian experts on joint satellite experiment. October, 21-23st, 1992.
V.N. Yurov, V.G. Tyshkevich, S.V. Damle аt the "RT-2" size-weight model. October, 1992.

Russian Aviation-Space Agency and Russian Academy of Science in the frameworks of federal space programm decided to give a commission to work on space satellite project "CORONAS-PHOTON" to Moscow Engineering-Physics Institute (MEPhI). Astrophysics Institute at MEPhI (IAPh MEPhI) was founded on October 21st, 1997 to realization of this project.
TIFR, Mumbai
9th meeting of the Indian and Russian experts on joint satellite experiment. April, 1-16ht, 1997.
J.P. Malkar, A.T. Kothare, A.R. Rao, V.G. Tyshkevich, S.V. Damle, V.N. Yurov. 14th April, 1997.
У гостиницы TIFR. Слева направо: Дж.П. Малкар, А.Т. Катари, А.Р. Рао, В.Г. Тышкевич, С.В. Дамле, В.Н. Юров. 14 апреля 1997 г.
Макет ''RT-2/S'' на вибростенде в ISAC в Бангалоре
ISAC, Bangalore
Vibrating tests of "RT-2/S" model.
TIFR, Mumbai
From "Project Completion Report Gamma-Ray Astronomy Satellite Experiment NATALYA-II (1988-1997)
Indo-Russian ILTP Project No: B-3.11."
September, 1997.
Отчёт TIFR

Professor Damle as the pensioner has left TATA in February 1998.
After cessation of work in ТАТА Institute he continued to work on various public and scientific affairs, and also under the program of qualitative management and in the field of new ideas for the small-scale industry. Sometimes he visited Institute.
Currently we can see a rejuvenation of the Indian Space Science and Astronomy: the Giant meter Wave Radio Telescope is successfully running at Pune and getting wonderful results; several new hard X-ray imaging concepts are being tried in the full fledged solar satellite Coronas-Photon; the first Indian multi-wavelength Astronomy satellite Astrosat is poised for a launch within a year.
The foundations for all these are built by die-hard and committed experimentalists like Shashi Damle, and we certainly owe a lot to him. Much of the present day signatures of scientific activities like aggressive proposal writing, multi-Institutional and multi-national collaborative activities were indeed pioneered by Shashi Damle.
Shashi Damle authored about 75 publications during his tenure. He was the recipient of the Vasvik Research Award for the "Development of scientific balloon for carrying heavy telemetry instruments to stratospheric altitudes" in 1994. He was a member of Maharashtra Academy of Sciences.
Shashikant Vinayak Damle died on November 29, 2008, aged 72 after heavy long illness.
Satellite "CORONAS-PHOTON" and telescope "RT-2"

In 2002 after consideration of alternative variants Council about space of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Rosaviakosmos accepted the decision to do the project "CORONAS-PHOTON" not on the basis of the Ukrainian platform "AUOS-SM", and on the basis of companion "Meteor-3m" of scientific research institute of electromecanics (NIIEM, Istra).
MEPhI has been appointed by the main organization responsible for the scientific payload complex of the "CORONAS-PHOTON". Director of Astrophysics Institute at MEPhI Yu.D. Kotov - principle investigator of the project "CORONAS-PHOTON", deputy director of Astrophysics Institute at MEPhI V.N. Yurov - the main designer of the complex of scientific equipment "PHOTON".
Work on telescope "RT-2" was continued by pupils and colleagues of professor Damle. Professor A.R. Rao (TIFR) became the Principal Investigator of the "RT-2" project.
On January, 30th 2009 the satellite "CORONAS-PHOTON" with 14th scientific devices onboard has been successfully started from the cosmodrome "Plesezk". Among scientific devices was the High energy radiation spectrometer "Natalya-2M" and the Low energy gamma-ray telescope "RT-2".
Detector "RT-2/CZT"
А.П. Рао, Ю.Д. Котов, А.С. Гляненко, С.В. Дамле и др. 24 июня 2006 г.
TIFR, Mumbai
Meeting of the Russian and Indian experts on joint satellite experiment. On June, 20-24th 2005.
S.V. Damle with participants of meeting: A.R. Рао, Yu.D. Kotov, A.S. Glyanenko et al. On June, 24th 2005.
On a visit at S.V. Damle - A.S. Glyanenko, A.R. Рао, S.V. Damle, Yu.D. Kotov. On June, 24th 2005
А.С. Гляненко, А.П. Рао, С.В. Дамле, Ю.Д. Котов. 24 июня 2005 г.
А.С. Гляненко с индийскими коллегами. Комплексные испытания КНА ''ФОТОН''. 14 сентября 2006 г.
Astrophysics Institute at MEPhI, Moscow
Complex tests of the complex of scientific equipment "PHOTON".
A.S. Glyanenko with the Indian colleagues: A.R. Рао, et al. On September, 14th 2006.
NIIEM, Istra
Flight samples of detectors "RT-2/S" and "RT-2/G". On September, 8th 2008.
Лётные образцы детекторов ''RT-2/S'' и ''RT-2/G''. 8 сентября 2008 г.
Испытания лётного КНА ''ФОТОН''
NIIEM, Istra
Tests of flight complex of scientific equipment "PHOTON". On October, 21st 2006.
Cosmodrome "Plesezk"
"CORONAS-PHOTON" joined with a carrier rocket "Tsiklon-3". On January, 24th 2009.
On a photo the arrangement of detectors of a telescope "RT-2" is shown.
Cosmodrome "Plesezk"
"CORONAS-PHOTON" joined with a carrier rocket "Tsiklon-3". On January, 26th 2009.
On a photo the arrangement of detectors of a telescope "RT-2" is shown.
Cosmodrome "Plesezk"
Start of the rocket with "CORONAS-PHOTON". On January, 30th 2009.

Unfortunately Sashi Damle could not rejoice to it together with us.
Старт ракеты с КА ''КОРОНАС-ФОТОН''. 30 января 2009 г.

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