Two big guns of the Indian space agency skipped the country's prestigious science event, the 98th Indian Science Congress.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Radhakrishnan was supposed to chair the space summit on Wednesday at the SRM University campus. He did not turn up.
He was also absent on Tuesday at the session on enhancing academia-industry interactions.
Former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair was to have given a lecture on Wedesday evening. He too did not turn up "due to unavoidable circumstances", according to university officials.
Their absence led to speculation that they may have preferred to avoid public glare after the failure of two major satellite launch missions in 2010.
However, ISRO was adequately represented at the space summit session with the participation of senior officials like T K Alex, director of Satellite Centre, R R Navalgund, director of Space Applications Centre, and S V Kibe from the Satellite Navigation Systems.