He was the "face" of Indian Space Research Organisation for the past six years and G Madhavan Nair is a highly satisfied man, but says two flop missions under his stewardship have "hurt" him.
"I will say that I am a highly satisfied man," the ISRO Chairman said a day before he retires from the space agency with the acme of his 42-year long career being the successful launch of India's maiden moon mission Chandrayaan-I.
Nair rates realisation of the lunar mission as the high point of his career.
"The number of (space) missions that I have handled...only on two occasions...yes we have flopped...that too not because of any great technological (challenge) or anything. Silly mistakes. That has really hurt me. But of course, we have learnt from those mistakes and recovered," he told PTI in an interview.
He was referring to the failure of GSLV-F02 in 2006, which plunged into the Bay of Bengal shortly after lift-off carrying communication satellite INSAT4-C. The GSLV launch vehicle and the satellite were considered two separate missions.
Barring these two, Nair had successfully overseen 25 other missions of ISRO during his six-year tenure.
"The pinnacle of my career has been achieved, especially in the last six years. Leadership position has enabled me to lead the organisation to scale greater heights. I know that we now have a very stabilised programme," Nair said.