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Space Science

India Moves To Put Its First Man In Space By 2016 242

An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from the International Business Times: "India plans to launch its first manned space mission in 2016, moving to become the fourth nation to put a man in space. Space scientists and senior officials of the state-run ISRO are preparing a pre-project report to build the infrastructure and facilities for the mission, estimated to cost a $2.76 billion. 'We are planning a human space flight in 2016, with two astronauts who will spend seven days in the Earth's lower orbit,' Radhakrishnan told reporters at ISRO headquarters in Bangalore. In September, India's Chandrayaan-1 satellite discovered water on the moon, boosting India's credibility among established space-faring nations"
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India Moves To Put Its First Man In Space By 2016

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  • by ACK!! ( 10229 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:38PM (#30922558) Journal
    But I am not doubting the intent. In fact, it is refreshing to see a nation not simply looking at short term but thinking in terms of long term goals but in a concrete way. Its a great thing to have the community of nations dedicated to space exploration expanding in any case.
  • by Third Position ( 1725934 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:51PM (#30922894)

    with the US's new direction. [] It's now official. Technical leadership has been ceded to Asia.

    Maybe it's time to elect some politicians interested in space. []

  • by fiannaFailMan ( 702447 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:53PM (#30922948) Journal

    While in geo-synchronise orbit over every major continent, call center employees will be available to answer your computer questions both day and night.

    Ha ha. Let's make fun of the Indians and run through the usual 'call center' jokes because nobody has ever though of that before, huh?

    This announcement comes on the same day that it has emerged that the US administration has no intention of going to the moon, in a time when the US national debt clock has needed an extra digit added to it, when the US is still recovering from the diplomatic and geo-political catastrophe what was the Bush years, and all you can do is crack jokes about Indians because they have started turning a hugely populated and impoverished country around using the latest opportunities afforded to them by technology. Hmmm.

    Enjoy your inflated sense of superiority while it lasts, because it isn't gonna as long as people like you sit back on the Apollo moon landing's laurels and fiddle while Rome burns. The developing world is emerging onto the world stage. The EU is already the world's biggest economy. China and India have poverty on the run and are making in-roads into LEO. What's the USA doing? Still putting out fires in Mesopotamia, trying to catch up to the rest of the industrialized world in figuring out how to treat people when they're sick, and figuring out how to stop consuming a quarter of the world's resources.

    Yup, you go right on cracking your jokes. Ha fucking ha. You won't be laughing so loud when you see the red flag of China over the Sea of Tranquility.

  • This is great news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hazelfield ( 1557317 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:54PM (#30922974)
    The more alternatives for manned space flight, the less dependent we become on the space agency of one single nation. An agency that battles not only technical difficulties but also perpetual budget problems.

    I hope for more international cooperation in the future. Sending up your own astronauts gets your country a fair bit of prestige. Sending up astronauts from other nations also gets you friends.
  • by damburger ( 981828 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:01PM (#30923130)
    Even if Constellation wasn't cancelled, there were no plans to launch people before 2016. I mean, come on, it was only announced in 2004. Nobody could possibly go from paper project to manned mission in 12 years! Its not possible!
  • Re:Terrific news! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cashman73 ( 855518 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:13PM (#30923398) Journal
    To say nothing about Americans living on the verge of "crapping in the streets" because our jobs are being exported to India at an exponential rate! But, by golly, we've got three space shuttles and a useless ISS that will be destroyed in a glorious, flaming ball when it re-enters the atmosphere in a few years!
  • Especially for the many millions of Indians without a basic education and sanitation. They'll remain illiterate and crapping in the streets, but they will feel extatic about their fellow Indian in space.

    They will! But that's not the whole story.

    While it is true that the Indian Government could be said to have more immediate concerns, a space program for a country of its size is not entirely without merit. The Apollo program employed over 400,000 people. People working in high tech jobs, all related to science, technology and mathematics. The technologies developed for that program and the experience of the people who worked on it stood to the economy and society of the US for many years during and after. There's also an effect on even primary education as interest in science and technology is sparked in younger minds. If nothing else, the Indian space program might help persuade their best educated graduates to stay in their home country and improve it rather than emigrate for better paying jobs.

    But whatever you might have to say about such a space program, at least the Indians aren't wasting trillions on unproductive foreign campaigns. When you ask yourself why the US has no decent space program anymore, you need look no farther than the money wasted over the last eight years.

  • Re:Terrific news! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hey! ( 33014 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:36PM (#30923974) Homepage Journal

    A little bit of perspective is called for here.

    Yes, vast numbers of people living in crushing poverty are a drain on the Indian economy and a potentially destabilizing influence on its government. But India is huge, period. There are more people living in middle class conditions in India than there are Americans total.

  • by toppavak ( 943659 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:38PM (#30924008)
    Not disagreeing with the sentiment of your post, but its really sad that 6 years now qualifies as long-term vision. One would hope that governments would always plan for the future, but I guess its one consequence of the evolving nature of democracy / republics that governments no longer seem to be often able to look past current politicians' terms in office.
  • Re:Terrific news! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by justinlee37 ( 993373 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:01PM (#30924484)
    He's right that a space program has a lower opportunity cost than a war, however.
  • by vistic ( 556838 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:15PM (#30924776)

    IMF World Economic Outlook [] says India's economy was up 7.3% in 2008, up 5.6% in 2009, and predicted to be up 7.7% in 2010. China's economy was up 9.6% in 2008, up 8.7% in 2009, and predicted to be up 10% in 2010. Meanwhile the United States' economy was up 0.4% in 2008, down 2.5% in 2009, and predicted to be up only 2.7% in 2010.

    People are keeping a very close eye on emerging market economies like Brazil, Russia, India, China, Mexico, etc. They have been behind, but that means they have a lot of potential to grow, and many of them have been doing a good job at outpacing the United States' economy in recent years.

    That all aside, the original comment for this thread was just stupid. In terms of comedic value it was beyond stale. Other than that it's tasteless. I don't think I've ever been on the phone with a tech support rep who was in India. Meanwhile I've been to India twice in the past few years and know that call centers are just about zero percent of their cultural identity. Just because some Americans have some exposure to this one small profession in India, they have extrapolated it into this whole stereotype for an entire country. I guess that's just ignorance.

    If there is any stereotype of Americans which is absolutely accurate, it would be that Americans are ignorant.

  • by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:17PM (#30924814) Homepage

    Don't confuse ability with necessity. Remember the whole "fast, good, cheap: pick two" thing? When you offshore your software development to India, you're always aiming for cheap and almost always aiming for fast. It's not their fault that their clients don't care about the end-product actually being good. I've met plenty of good Indian coders and plenty of bad American coders. It's like buying stuff made in China - it's not inherently worse, but the goals of the people ultimately selling the product care more about getting it cheap and fast and are willing to sacrifice in quality. Yet my laptop, also made/assembled in China, is fantastic quality - because the manufacturer chose "good" over "cheap".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:22PM (#30924904)

    Posting anonymous so my mod points elsewhere don't vanish.

    I have to agree with you 100%. This 3P movement seems nice on the outside and it does push for some good policies, but zero immigration is not a good policy. Without immigration, the US population would be on the decline. Not necessarily a [i]bad[/i] thing depending on how you view it, though.

    Regardless. Some of the brightest minds in America started outside of our borders. I am completely FOR stopping all [i]illegal[/i] immigration, because it is exactly that: Illegal. Change the rules if you must so that what is being done now isn't illegal, but illegal is illegal. But banning ALL immigration? THAT is idiocy.

    I'm also getting really tired with the constant pushing of it here on Slashdot. If the party and the principles were really fantastic and different and new and all that, then this kind of lame get-it-in-wherever-I-can advertising wouldn't be necessary.

  • by escay ( 923320 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:36PM (#30925172) Journal
    May I point out that what TFS claims as a victory for India with its Chandrayaan-I discovering water on the moon, was actually done by an American instrument (M^3) []? Sure India's got the goods and ambitions to compete in the space race, but to think US's space technology will be summarily superceded because Obama cancelled budget for the moon mission is naive and presumptuous. Besides - you really think technological progress is somehow superior to solving social problems? The post-industrial issues that US is facing today are issues that China and India will have to battle with tomorrow. For instance - the chasm that is developing between India's rich and poor today is a simmering recipe for civil unrest and instability that India has no clue how to deal with. Sending vyomanauts into space is not going to solve that.

    Disclaimer: I'm an Indian.

  • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:58PM (#30925626) Homepage

    This might be taken as being anti-American, but it's not. Really, it's not.

    I live in Scotland. My country is a lot older than America, to the extent that my house has trees in the garden that predate the USA. Somewhere round about the time that the Declaration of Independence was being signed, my house was having an extension built on an existing extension on the original house. We're the old guys. And from where I'm sitting, I can see the young guys.

    America now looks like a possibly slightly backwards late teenager/early twenties guy, still pedalling around town on his outgrown BMX bike and making "Your Mom" jokes, while all the little kids that were too little for America to play with like India, Pakistan, Iran and China have now grown up a bit and got jobs and cars and girlfriends. And America really desperately wants to play, and throws his not inconsiderable weight around, but really until America grows up and starts acting like a responsible grown-up no-one wants to know.

    America has slowly - over the past 20 years or so - made itself utterly irrelevant to the rest of the world.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:59PM (#30926820)

    Whatever. The real race is about who will become the first to establish a manned base on the Moon. China or India?

    Us Westerners have become too iStupid and iObsessed with our iLives and iNtellectual property too pull it off. At least we'll be able to watch the video feed in high def.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:12PM (#30927728)

    The Commonwealth games (yeah, I know you never heard of it) are supposed to happen ~Oct/10 in New Delhi.
    Words are that the preparations aren't going well.
    If you cannot even host a sporting competition, it doesn't augur well in a space program.

  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Thursday January 28, 2010 @05:25AM (#30931042) Homepage Journal

    Ya know those fighter planes they make in the US, Russia and France.. ya know what all three countries have in common? Yeah.. aerospace research, how about that.

  • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @01:23PM (#30936138) Journal

    So when did a manned space program become a sign of world leadership in anything other than sending money up in smoke?

    Did you know there are no shopping malls in space? All that money "up in smoke" was spent here on Earth on R&D. At worst it would be a job program for engineers, but we've seen that the spin-off technologies are worth far more than the cost of the program. The reality, of course, is that a manned space program is all about putting a smiling face on your ICBM program, which is both the key technology to military power in the nuclear age and one of the hardest problems in science and engineering.

    If you can put a man in orbit (or, better, send him to the Moon) and return him safely, then you have world class science and engineering in just about every field.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.