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Moon Space Science

Indian Moon Mission Launched 305

hackerdownunder writes "India's maiden lunar mission (Chandrayaan-1) got off to a flying start today. Describing the launch as 'perfect and precise,' the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), G Madhavan Nair, said that it would be 14 days before the satellite would enter into lunar orbit. Chandrayaan carries eleven payloads: five designed and developed in India, three from the European Space Agency, one from Bulgaria and two from NASA."
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Indian Moon Mission Launched

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @08:56AM (#25466887)

    The Third World is exploring space, developing scientists and engineers, and developing their economies.

    Here in the US, we're developing our military, discouraging the study of science and engineering, discouraging all rational thought (God did it!), spending resources on some nebulous terrorist threat the will come some day (or so we're told), and developing industries based on chance and moving money around.

    I wonder which society has better long term prospects for its people, economy, and Government?

    • by Spazztastic ( 814296 ) <spazztastic@TEAgmail.com minus caffeine> on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @09:06AM (#25466995)
      India still also has a huge problem with poverty. There's still disease, unclean water, etc.

      My parents spent a month there visiting friends and despite how quickly they're building up there are still many problems that need resolving. Maybe the moon mission is a good idea in some eyes, just as we are spending money on building weapons both of us should be putting it towards building schools, hospitals, and getting average Joe six pack health insurance so he can take care of that knee that has been bothering him.
      • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @09:14AM (#25467075) Journal
        The moon shot is one way to address the poverty. There is a huge market to launch payloads into the orbit. If India uses the prestige created by the moonshot to grab a significant stake in that market that will bring in money and pay for the infrastructure projects.

        The idea that India should focus on poverty first and eschew other areas has shackled the country for many decades. Nehru and his daughter followed that philosophy. Grandson Rajiv broke out in 1984 but was very naive and reversed himself by 1988. It took Narasimha Rao and his finance minister Manmohan Singh to really put India on the right path. BJP govt instilled the country with some pride. India has to become the world leader in a few areas and then use the wealth it generates to alleviate the poverty.

        • by pkphilip ( 6861 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @11:16AM (#25468829)

          BJP govt instilled the country with some pride.

          BJP is a fascist party with deep seated animosity towards anyone who is not an hindu. During the BJP regime, they and their supporting parties unleashed some of the worst atrocities against minorities in India.

          To state that they have somehow instilled pride in the Indians is like saying that the Nazi party instilled pride in the Germans. That is to say that we (Indians) don't need that kind of pride. Thank you very much.

          Also your claim that the moon shot will address poverty comes from the same school of thought that believes in the discredited "trickle down" theory of development which essentially says that if you continue to pamper the rich that the money will somehow magically reach the poor.

          We know how well that has turned out. The wage disparity between the rich and the poor has never been more stark. The poor are poorer (google farmer suicides in India) and the rich are richer (google new Indian billionaires).

          I am fully in support of the Indian space programme and the wonderful work that ISRO is doing, but let us not kid ourselves - the moon mission has nothing whatsoever to do with mitigating poverty.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by TheAmit ( 1011767 )
            To compare the BJP to Nazi germany is a little extreme. They are pretty much as right wing as any other right wing parties in democracies through the world. Why do people fail to see the commercial side of the deal here Havent we heard of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antrix_Corporation [wikipedia.org] essentially this is a TD hoping that we capture a larger share of the satellite launch market. Its current revenue is already 660 crores. ISRO hopes to get a larger share of the pie.
          • by niiler ( 716140 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @12:26PM (#25470081) Journal
            And yet the space program here in the US generated a number of clearly documented benefits [elmscoalition.org] to society and the economy. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Budget [slashdot.org]">wikipedia:

            Other statistics and confirmation that "Space pays" may also be found in the 1976 Chase Econometrics Associates, Inc. reports ("The Economic Impact of NASA R&D Spending: Preliminary Executive Summary.", April 1975. Also: "Relative Impact of NASA Expenditure on the Economy.", March 18, 1975) and backed by the 1989 Chapman Research report, which examined just 259 non-space applications of NASA technology during an eight year period (1976-1984) and found more than:

            • $21.6 billion in sales and benefits;
            • 352,000 (mostly skilled) jobs created or saved,and;
            • $355 million in federal corporate income taxes

            Now, that said, it doesn't mean that the Indian program will be nearly as successful. But it does point out that these benefits are real and have been documented. Since some of the benefits are jobs creation, this can go towards benefiting people other than the upper class.

            • by Touvan ( 868256 )

              The space program in the U.S. went hand in glove with a whole host of other governmental programs - including a lot of work in education and other infrustructure.

              It's not a surprise that these programs had benefits. When you spend money on enriching the population of a country (as the U.S. did before the 1980s) the population enriches the country.

              Enriching the rich is fruitless, since there is only so much a few people can do with increasing wealth. the 400 or so families that control 90% of the wealth in t

      • by olman ( 127310 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @09:15AM (#25467091)

        Someone might even go as far as to say that investing in high tech will create jobs that will pay (through taxes) for all the feel good social services.

        You know. Give a man unemployment pay and you feed him for a month. Teach a man to design radiation hardened telecom transceivers and you feed him (and 100 others) for life.

      • by ashraya ( 632661 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @09:18AM (#25467135)
        Whats with morons bringing up the poverty side of things everytime a scientific achievement of India is brought up? Yes there is poverty and Homeless in India. I see hobos in the UK too. There are more people in that country, so the ratio of Hobos is more. Whats to be appreciated is this - With the kind of pressure that a democratic government faces, imagine the budget pressures an organization like ISRO has? Even NASA is buckling because of budget cuts. If ISRO can achieve things despite poverty, despite such tight budgets, its a much bigger achievement! Remember, this is not China we are talking about where scientific progress can sometimes come at the cost of the people. India is a democracy - Lives are being improved. I used to live in whats a slum - in my childhood. Millions like me got a chance to improve because of an education system, flawed as it is, that is cheap. Dont deride the scientific achievements in face of other difficulties the country faces. The country thrives despite adversity, and sometimes because of adversity!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        And 40 million Americans have no healthcare, so what.
      • If people in India become rich how will all the NGOs and Church groups who raise money based on sad looking photographs survive? The typical business model is for every 10 dollars raised spend a dollar on some unproductive charity in India and pocket the other 9 dollars and lead a lifestyle even most Americans cant dream of. The whole third world charity industry probably employs more people in the US than heavy manufacturing. If India becomes non-poor all these average Joe Six packs would be worrying abou

      • India's space program is different from those in US and other "developed" countries. India has always focused on the practical uses of space science. Communication, weather forecasts, delivering payloads etc. (instead of sending probes to pluto)

        Elsewhere "space programs came as spinoffs of military programs, so the things the space program was expected to deliver were things that could be used in defense," says S.K. Das, a former ISRO official.

      • by niiler ( 716140 )
        On the other hand, people never seem to complain when the government buys expensive airplanes. The Indian airforce decided in 2005 to upgrade its aging planes and buy 126 new multi-role fighter jets. [f-16.net] If we use an estimate from this contract, [f-16.net] in 2003 dollars this comes out to 126*$72.9 million per plane = $1.2 billion for the upgrade, approximately. Here, we're presuming that if they didn't choose F-16s, whatever they chose was of a commensurate cost. By contrast, the space mission which has many indirec
        • by niiler ( 716140 )
          Whoops, thats $9.2 billion for the cost. I read the result out of the wrong calculation window. I am such a nerd.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        ISRO generates Rs.1.5 to the economy for every Rs.1 that it uses in funding. This is the immediate return alone. The sustained returns (improvement in education and agriculture through remote sensing), and commercial application of its inventions are not included in this figure. The goal of ISRO is to promote space research to benefit as much of the population as possible.

        ISRO is also selling commercial launch and remote sensing and imagery services through it's commercial division - Antirix corp which is m

    • by dspolleke ( 1139333 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @09:12AM (#25467059) Homepage
      India is not / no longer part of the third world. Wake up and smell the coffee. It is Asia that is going to rule the world this century. China and India are both in a race into space, both large players in the world economy (outsourcing of technical staff to india, industry to China). Besides, India and China have 1 billion+ innhabitants each so a third of the world population is living there.. Where America fails to deliver payload to the ISS (where Russia is succeeding) Asia is quickly catching up. The whole world should turn their economy towards renewable energy and towards Asia instead of Oil and America. As european i don't understand where the american arrogance (and ignorance) comes from.. No flamebait intended
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Yes its true that there are many opportunities in Asia now, let me talk specifically about India. The population may help in some respects but its a big problem as well. Most of India's population is in rural areas and is still quite poor. I think 8 yrs before America wasn't looked at as badly as it is now, was it? Some bad decisions (by politicians and by Americans by electing those politicians+Wall St and whatever else) marred America's view and economy. But that doesn't mean it isn't still a great countr
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by dspolleke ( 1139333 )
          I've read about india's rural area's. If only one person "escapes" from poverty the entire village benefits of it. It was a news story a few months ago about a preteen girl that turned tricks and by her first trick she was able to build her family a brick house..(how regrettable it is that she chose prostitution as a way out it WAS a way out and she chose to do so herself) But there are numerous stories. If one "peasant" starts working as a clerk for an multinational he does not only funds his village scho
      • by partenon ( 749418 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @09:46AM (#25467525) Homepage

        India is not / no longer part of the third world.

        I agree with everything you said, excepted the quote above. India *is* part of the Third World in all the definitions I know:

        - Not aligned with either the West or East in Cold War
        - Not a country with high HDI (Human Development Index)
        - Is a "developing country"

        But maybe you have another definition for it?

        • I agree with everything you said, excepted the quote above. India *is* part of the Third World in all the definitions I know:

          - Not aligned with either the West or East in Cold War

          Wow, I had no idea that was part of the definition [wikipedia.org] of third world.

          I guess I've never really thought about the specifics of the origin of the term.


          • The first paragraph there references the term's origins in the cold war.

            I was under the impression it started off as that and was now that "3rd world" meant underdeveloped, like wiki says, but that was an adaptation. Initially it seems to be like the "First person, third person" perspective, with the US and nato allies being first person, because when we talked, the first person "we" meant first world countries. I guess 2nd world countries would be the communist bloc, although I've never heard that term a

        • Yes, there is one definition more: The Old World (Europa) and the New World (Americas), with the third world being the rest. Still India fits though.

          • I've never heard that one before - is that your own? Sure, the New World is America, but the Old World is everything that was known prior, which includes India, of course. Do you have a reference for your definition?
      • Not part of the Third World? Which is it then - allied with the Soviets in the Second World or allied with the US in the First? :P
    • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @10:29AM (#25468089)

      Here in the US, we're developing our military,

      Are you really trying to separate India's civilian rocketry program from their defense spending?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      I wonder which society has better long term prospects for its people, economy, and Government?

      So are you saying rather than complaining about the US and stating we're moving to Canada we should say "That's it! I'm moving to India!"?

      Doesn't have the same ring to it

  • Only $ 80 Mn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ami.one ( 897193 ) <amitabhr@gmai l . com> on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @08:58AM (#25466917)
    At around Rs. 400 Crore / USD 80 Million, it must be the cheapest unmanned moon mission and.... 1st post
  • by retech ( 1228598 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @08:59AM (#25466921)
    "This is Chandrayaan-1 we have a problem."

    "You have reached mission control. Your call is very important to us. Please hold and the next available representative will be with you shortly."

    "This is Chandrayaan-1 we are losing thrust and are off course."

    "Remember, mission control is here for you. Have you heard about our latest service pack upgrades and special licensing agreements? Press one now if you'd like to hear more. If not, continue holding and your call will be answered in the order recieved. Thank you for calling mission control!"
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      'Thees ess Bahb. I am bery glad to be helping you today. I understand that you are habbing a problem with your thrusters?'

      -Yes. Thruster 2 failed and we are .9% off course, we anticipate impact with the moon surface in 13 hours. We have attempted a manual restart and noted the ignition coil of thruster 2 had failed.

      'Mmmm. Have you attempted to restart the thrusters?'

      -Yes, dammit. I attempted a manual restart and the ignition coil has failed.

      'Hmmm. Uh-huh. Could we attempt a manual restart of the thr

  • Our current knowledge of moon is infinitely superior than the knowledge of our own ocean. They say, Grass is always greener on the other side or may be it is the quest to build more powerful missiles in the guise of moon missions. Not blaming India, six others did that too.
    • To be fair, trying to explore space is a lot simpler than trying to explore the ocean. Under the sea, you have all the same problems of trying to maintain life in an airtight box, but that box is under significantly higher pressures, visiblity is a lot poorer, and there are a lot more things to run into. That's not to say that space exploration is easy, or even easier (especially on long trips), just that there are more unresolved engineering challenges to properly exploring the sea. And to be blunt, there'
    • may be it is the quest to build more powerful missiles in the guise of moon missions. Not blaming India, six others did that too.

      Well, no. Evidence is that the rocket scientists in Russia and the USA built ICBM's because they could use them to launch things into space, and then spent a lot of time trying to convince their political masters that the OTHER side was about to start launching things into space, and so they should too.

      In other words, it wasn't space shots -> icbms, it was the other way aroun

    • by hcdejong ( 561314 ) <hobbes AT xmsnet DOT nl> on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @10:18AM (#25467939)

      Not that old chestnut again.
      We've had 6 manned missions and a few probes to the moon, all commissioned by a handful of governments. Our oceans are being surveyed constantly, by both satellites and survey ships (including submersibles) sponsored by governments, research establishments and commercial operators alike.
      The moon missions just generate more publicity (ignoring the outliers like Jacques Cousteau).

  • Outsourcing. (Score:2, Interesting)

    I am extremely happy that space missions are gaining importance on the world stage, as I see living offworld as the key to human survival in the long run.

    Part of me wonders if the trend in outsourcing provided the economic base and not too small a technological leg up that India needed to succeed. I realize they have an amazing (and selective) university system that makes many of ours silly by comparison, but I wonder if our "American Spirit" had no small part in enabling this. I wonder if what we have

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Yes, in the nineties maybe. And you might get this spirit back through a future president. For now though, I feel like the world is a bit fed up with the USA trying to be the World's Knight in Shining Armor of Morale. It's also a bit weird: Everybody has guns and violence is abundant on television, but God forbid (pun intended) that a breast is shown on tv.
  • To start the fire of the moonlanding conspiracy flame war (that will inevitably start somewhere in this thread), here goes -

    The two NASA instruments are designed to layover images and data readings where the landers and equipment are or are thought to be. Whether through some fancy electronic trickery/photoshop, or they built a scale model that hangs in front of the lenses at adjustable distances, or some other kooky theory. [sidebar] Perhaps the ISRO could snap a few photos of the sites in question to
  • awesome (Score:2, Insightful)

    by motang ( 1266566 )
    This is one huge leap forward for India!
  • Anonymous Coward (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The PSLV-XL itself costs only 80 crore rupee (800 million rupees) or less than 20 million USD

  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @12:46PM (#25470391)
    Nasa missions took three days. But life support was important.

    The slowest moon mission was an ESA moon mission that took 14 months to reach the moon via ion-drive. It cost very little in fuel.
  • by XCygon ( 1381221 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @01:45PM (#25471211)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    India showcased its low-cost space technology. Project cost only $79 million, considerably less than the Chinese and Japanese probes. Now world can outsource space projects to India. Another outsourcing industry started :)

    This project also shows India's partnership with 14 other countries and sharing data and technology together.

Basic is a high level languish. APL is a high level anguish.