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Space Technology

India Plans Moon Mission by 2008 400

LPetrazickis writes "According to the Tribune, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has announced today that India will send a spacecraft to the moon by 2008. The Chandrayaan-I mission will showcase Indian achievements in science and technology to the world. Both European and Canadian Space Agencies have shown interest in the mission. SifyNews reports that 2008 was initially mispronounced as 1908. Today is the 56th anniversary of India's independence." Previous talk about this has come from the Indian space agency; this announcement from the Prime Minister seems to have more weight.
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India Plans Moon Mission by 2008

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  • by LPetrazickis ( 557952 ) <leo,petr+slashdot&gmail,com> on Saturday August 16, 2003 @02:28AM (#6710786) Homepage Journal
    Please read the article. The plans call for a robotic probe to the moon.;)
  • Re:Right (Score:4, Informative)

    by Suhas ( 232056 ) on Saturday August 16, 2003 @02:45AM (#6710851)
    Wrong, India sent a man in Space over 15 years ago. Rakesh Sharma became the First Indian Astronaut in 1984 along with the Russians. Check this [bharat-rakshak.com]
  • So what? (Score:3, Informative)

    by HanzoSan ( 251665 ) on Saturday August 16, 2003 @02:47AM (#6710856) Homepage Journal

    Maybe we will respect the middle east now that they have the same abilities as us, this does not mean anything, the soviets have had nuke for years and years.

    I dont really care if India has nuke, and I doubt they'd put it in space unless we do it first, its insane to put it in space but I see them doing it to protect themselves from us, I mean we are willing to go to war just because we want to without going through the UN, I wouldnt blame India for being alittle bit scared of us.
  • by efextra ( 673412 ) on Saturday August 16, 2003 @03:24AM (#6710972) Homepage
    from what I read in the article they just recently launched their first satellite
    Aryabhatta Satellite (First Indian Experimental Satellite) [iitb.ac.in], Launch Date : April 19, 1975
  • by Frymaster ( 171343 ) on Saturday August 16, 2003 @03:38AM (#6711010) Homepage Journal
    A similar argument could've been made against the USA back when the USA dit it,

    and the argument would be wrong.

    1. 40% of the population of india is illiterate
    2. 350 million indians live below the poverty line... the indian poverty line
    3. the infant mortality is 60/1000
    4. annual government revenue last year was $48 billion... and expenditures were $78 billion - for a nice net deficit of 30 big ones.

    does that sound even faintly like the united states in 1969?

    source: the cia [cia.gov]

  • by preetamrai ( 637011 ) on Saturday August 16, 2003 @04:21AM (#6711149) Homepage
    There are always some very negative comments when stories like these appear. China and India are both very large countries and after a sort of sleep of almost a century they are stirring up. These kind of space programs are inevitable, there will come from the sheer momentum of what is happening in these countries today. I grew up in India and now I spend a lot of time in China. So I would like to say some thing from this perspective, Some years ago, I used to teach some classes at CDAC (center for development of advanced computing) at Bangalore, India. At that time they were working on building a supercomputer. There were a lot of critics who said that the money could be spent on the upliftment of the poor. Today CDAC exports this computer. And think of the knowledge and expertise and the project management skills that came of this project. Similarly, the moon project is a "killer demo app" for the Indian space and allied industry. The knowledge and the expertise would raise other high tech industry and help them in selling their services. Also, unknown to many India has a good space science research program. Outside Pune there is the Giant Meter wave Radio Telescope (http://www.ncra.tifr.res.in/) and in Ladhak they have the Himalayan Chandra Telescope, the highest observatory in the world. There are institutions that are active in fundamental particle research (TIFR http://www.tifr.res.in/). So there is more to India's space program then just brag. The politicians need the "brag" but ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) has been always very humble and always pre-announces all its launches and gives detailed information on failed launches too . Compare this to the Chinese agency which only announces the launch after it has been successful. In India there is a deep interest in space sciences in general. I remember as a school kid, us being taken to planetariums. Translated Russian space books were very popular- I remember one book - The sun's wind written by Alexei Leonov (the first man to space walk). Our HSC (A level) English text had some science fiction too. There were and still are active astronomy clubs and societies. In the 80s, when we had only one TV channel, Carl Sagan's Cosmos was one of the few foreign programs that was aired along with regular re-runs of the original Star Trek and Fireball XL-5 (anyone remembers this.. it was a puppet animation). So what I am saying is - yes there is poverty and lot of other things that need fixing, but these things just don't get fixed by putting money. What the current Indian leaders are hoping to do is to create programs that inspire people (or as the current Indian president likes to say "Ignite Minds". The president APJ Abdul Kalam is a Space Scientist BTW). These kinds of ventures encourage a farm worker to put his kids in school because he sees where the country is heading and where his kids have a better future.
  • my two cents (Score:5, Informative)

    by harlemjoe ( 304815 ) on Saturday August 16, 2003 @06:09AM (#6711415)

    For all those who have been whining about the state of India's finances and poverty levels, let me add that the PM in his Independence Day speech (think State of the Union) is also building highways, creating jobs in rural areas [hinduonnet.com], not to mention modernizing our ports and major airports. [hinduonnet.com]

    May I also add that India's external finances are in great shape [hindustantimes.com]( a $6.5tn deficit comes to mind, cough cough ) and we are at present reorganizing our expensive debt.

    We are sitting on so much cash, (and soon, low interest debt) that for the first time, India has become a lender nation.

    Inflation is static at just under 2%, the Indian rupee has been holding its ground against all international currencies. Duties are being lowered, tariffs and trade barriers are being slashed, capital and bond markets are flourishing -- why the hell can't we have a moon mission?

    Agreed, poverty and health problems cannot be disregarded, but to say this money would be better spent anywhere else is just stupidity -- India has long prided herself on her space programme -- we have great comm satellites and have been launching them since the early '70s, and a moon probe is a logical next step.

    Finally, the moon probe is just one proposal among many, and slashdot readers, or at least those posting derogatory comments, need to keep a sense of proportion.

  • by ScottyB ( 13347 ) on Saturday August 16, 2003 @07:57AM (#6711622)
    I don't know if this jab at the current state of the US is meant to be sarcastic, but here are some more realistic figures for those who are curious.

    (from the CIA World Factbook and other sources as listed)

    1. 3% of the US population is illiterate
    2. 12.7% of the US is under the US poverty line, defined as an individual earning less than USD 8,860 a year. The Indian poverty line, by comparison, is defined by the world bank to be earning less than USD 365 a year (from Poverty USA and India Watch).
    3. Infant mortality in the US is not 10/1000. It is 6.75/1000. That is not the lowest in the world, but the figure ranks among most developed nations. Cholesterol-related teenager deaths? While the USA is getting too fat, causing a rise in diabetes in young people, I have not heard of a rise of teenage heart attacks or teenage heart disease fatalities, so I think your theory is way off. The obesity problem bodes poorly for lifespan and healthcare costs, but not so much for teenage mortality.
    4. I won't dispute this last point much. The deficit now is ridiculous, and it was equally ridiculous when we went to the moon ourselves. Such spending is certainly not sustainable over the long haul. However, comparing deficit-per-capita means nothing without considering the deficit as percent of money brought in. A 30 billion deficit on 50 billion collected, as in India (if the previous posts were correct), is 60%, compared to $600 billion on 2 trillion, which is around 30%.

    However, budget deficits aside, I think the point most people have is that India has many more places it should be spending its money other than space and nuclear weapons. Beside the high poverty in India, the caste system still rears its ugly head in the rural areas, which hampers development.

    The Economist recently did a feature comparing China and India, basically showing how much farther China is ahead of its neighbor.

  • by fockewulf ( 74360 ) <vasishtreddy AT yahoo DOT de> on Saturday August 16, 2003 @02:45PM (#6713302)
    the first indian satellite launcher was SLV 3, first successful launch was on Jul 18 1980. There have been a series of other lauchers after that: ASLV, PSLV, GSLV. more info at http://www.tbs-satellite.com/tse/online/lanc_isro. html

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra