The man heading India's space programme says the pollution of the river Yamuna is a major problem.
"Nobody feels like going to the river these days. It was possible some years ago," Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman G. Madhvan Nair said in an address at Dayalbagh University here.
"The prevailing conditions make it difficult to take the water in your hands. I wonder why people are not alarmed and concerned about the river's health?" Nair asked Friday evening.
Addressing the students, he said ISRO's future projects included an experimental space capsule recovery platform especially designed to receive returning space vehicles and capsules safely to enable their reuse.
The present practice of landing the capsules and satellites in the sea leads to substantial loss in terms of quality and maintenance.
The new platform will take up to 15 years to develop and will form a part of an independent space observatory system, he said.
Another milestone project will be Chandrayan-1, said Nair, who is leading a team of scientists to give it shape.
Under this project, a satellite would be placed in the moon's orbit to transmit data about its structure and look for indications of extra-terrestrial life.
Nair said that as a space power India was among the front-rankers. The country's space programmes were helping people in various fields ranging from health to agriculture to disaster management and weather forecasting.