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      Dr. Kalam dreamt of becoming a fighter plane pilot, but missed narrowly the qualifying test.  He then became a scientist.  He joined Aeronautical Development Establishment of DRDO.  He started his career with design of a small hovercraft.  He was part of the committee related to space program working under V Sarabhai.  He started to work on expandable Rocket Project by himself  at DRDO in 1965.   In 1969 the rocket project got approvals and then he expanded the team.   He had already visited many space centers of NASA in USA by this time.   He wished to continue with India in spite of offers from NASA.

         He was transferred to ISRO in 1969 as project director for satellites.  In 1970 Kalam directed two projects “Devil” and “Valiant” in DRDO related to ballistic missiles.  They were to import technology from the SLV (Space Launch Vehicle) program.  Indira Gandhi supported his proposal and made him director for the development of the classified aerospace project.   He was a good mentor and manager.   His approach and attitude earned him name and awards in 1980s.

        Government has awarded advanced missile program projects with Dr. Kalam as director.  He got a push further for simultaneous development of many missiles.  An integrated Guided Missile Development Programme was initiated with the approval of the defence minister R Venkataraman.   Dr Kalam supervised the development of many missiles including Agni and Prithvi missiles.  Agni is an intermediate range-ballistic missile and Prithvi is a surface to surface missile.  Akash is a medium range surface to air missile.  Nag is a new anti-tank missile.

   This IGMDP was managed by DRDO and Ordnance factories.  The project completed in 2008 after the msissilies are developed.  The development of missiles did meet many hurdles.

          Dr Kalam was involved in the development of surface to surface, surface to air and air to air missiles.    Dr Kalam become the chief scientific adviser to the PM in 1992.  He rose to becoming the President later on.   Dr. Kalam received honorary degrees in science and engineering from many universities.    
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