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Tag: ISRO (page 1 of 1)

The New Indian Adhesive

It’s ISRO obviously.

What else could unite us all at 2 AM in the morning? It used to be Cricket only. Sometimes movies. But from September 7, 2019, ISRO is the next Indian adhesive, I think!

Well, Chandrayaan 2 is a partial success after all. It reached pretty far accurately, even became the first Indian object to touch the Lunar Surface (right?) may be through a hard landing, but lost the communication channel to tell us about it. As soon as this image came onto the screen, deafening silence engulfed everyone over. It felt a bit hollow inside as if the heartbeat had stopped.

via ISRO Youtube

It is certainly important to introspect this image and the data it brings, but this should never deter us from attempting it again. Yes, we didn’t make it cleanly but ISRO is a winner all the way.

Recent feats achieved by ISRO (including this) will go very far for our upcoming generation. Sheer excitement amongst the folks who are least interested in space, or are cynical about anything India does, certainly got us united and got us cheering for ISRO all the way.

I really liked this one Tweet.

https://twitter.com/Abhina_Prakash/status/1170084662233849856

This is exactly why ISRO exists. It tells us that impossible is nothing. If we dedicate our focus on the right things, we can reach anywhere. It might take more than 1 attempt, but we will be there sooner or later.

Next time, ISRO does Gaganyaan or Aditya Mission or the exoplanetary mission, the cheer would grow even louder and we will all be stuck to our devices, watching the live streaming. The next time, it would be a successful touchdown.

So I recently watched ‘Mission Mangal’

I distinctly remember this. I was in a bus travelling towards my office and while it took a U-Turn in front of ISRO office on Outer Ring Road towards Marathahalli, Bengaluru, somewhere far away Mangalyaan was getting inserted into the Mars orbit. I was following the news on Twitter and the event just happened. The Bus completed the U-turn and the ISRO HQ remained as calm as it has always been, as if nothing happened. No fanfare, no bursting of crackers like Diwali or post-elections scene outside political parties offices, not even a single soul but the guards visible from outside. That’s ISRO for you. I looked around me, and nobody was bothered to share my happiness as they were busy in their phones or were dozing off. I sighed and continued with reading more about the news.

That was 2014. ISRO has done a lot since then. They do use Social Media now but still only those who are interested follow. But for the first time, someone has brought them on to a medium which nobody in India can ignore. Yeah, the movies.

So, I recently watched Mission Mangal and felt happy. Neither the movie was mind blowing, nor it was a bore, neither it was 100% scientifically accurate, nor it was completely filmy. It was just a feel good movie with an appropriate amount of stuff which could make your heart fill with joy when you realise that ISRO was able to do this near impossible feat so nonchalantly. Of course, this is just a fictional tale of how the mission came to be. But it surely reignited the feeling of pride that we live among such geniuses of humans who are so good at their job that one can only wish them more successes.

I had brushed it off when they had announced that such a movie is being even made. But I got interested in it lately when the reviews came in and it paid off. I won’t go into the details of the movie as that’s irrelevant. I am rather happy that such a movie was made. There’s a scene in the movie which showed the reminiscences of actors’ childhood times of becoming scientists. That did me. And I believe that’s what have been the intention of making such a movie. Apart from earning money and all.

If even one out of 100 can get inspired from such movies which show human’s scientific prowess while they deal with life’s daily chores, the job is done.

Hoping to see more such initiatives which can rekindle the childhood dream in you.

Shoot for the moon

In case you have been following this blog lately and have noticed a break in the blogging streak so early, please note that I was out vacationing and all. So, kindly excuse. I said I will blog almost daily. 1-2 days off in between should be okay, I guess!

A few days ago, I came across an article/ news that ISRO and Indus Moon Mission have parted ways in a not so happy manner which means that India’s first ever private moon mission and in fact India’s very first mission with a Lunar Land Rover is in danger of getting scrapped.

This was heartbreaking. For those who are unfamiliar the Indus Moon Mission is a private firm based in Bengaluru which is competing in a brilliantly conceptualized Google Lunar XPrize contest.

As per the contest:

The competition’s $30 million prize purse will be awarded to teams who are able to land a privately funded rover on the moon, travel 500 meters, and transmit back high definition video and images.

This is the future we see in the movies. Private firms competing to land their spacecraft on different planets.

The deadline for this is March 31, 2018. But due to this fallout between Team Indus and ISRO, it seems bleak that India’s entry would have much chance, as of now. Fingers crossed. Not only that, PSLV of ISRO was also slated to carry another competitor of XPrize Japan’s HAKUTO.

I have always envisioned our country (no sarcasm) as one which will always be at the forefront of space missions. Despite our economic conditions, I strongly believe that if we put aside some budget to aim for these gigantic scientific feats and put trust in our able team of scientists, it would always work in the end. For those who argue against this and put forward the notion of spending money only in uplifting poor should understand that the amount of inspiration a young poor kid can get by seeing their fellow countrymen sending things in outer space on a tight budget but with an unmistakable accuracy, that amount of inspiration is unfathomable and can lead to an amazing future generation. Each such mission could mean putting seeds of inspiration in young kids minds who would turn up and be the next Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.

This setback for Indus Mission was quite a shocker as all these days, they were very much enthusiastic regarding this partnership made in heaven. However, things might not be that bad as Indus Team is still marching ahead with their plan and looking forward to another partner.

It would have been doubly great with ISRO but if they are able to sustain and maintain their zeal, hopefully, they will shoot for the moon and hit the target (via a soft landing).

I wish them the best and hope to write another congratulatory blog post after March 2018. Also, ISRO is planning for their own Moon Mission pretty soon as well. Kudos to them as well, as always.

You may read more on Indus Moon Mission here:

  • https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/team-indus-the-first-indian-space-start-up-drops-out-of-moon-race-1797928?amp=1&akamai-rum=off&__twitter_impression=true
  • https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/isro-teamindus-deal-falls-apart-japanese-moon-mission-delayed/articleshow/62502748.cms
  • https://sputniknews.com/asia/201703021051195419-india-moon-mission/

Update on Jan 24, 2018

An Ode to ISRO

In a country like India, there are extreme contrasts in status of living. While we have the poshest malls with sleek interiors and shiny billboards, just few hundred meters from there, we can have poverty ridden neighborhoods which lack even basic necessities like water and spaces to live. We have metros swooshing over a bridge and can have families living under the same bridges oblivious to the rush above. We are known to move 4 steps forward and 2 steps backward in even things like common civic sense. Our Prime Minister has to explicitly mention about things like cleanliness and toilets even after almost 7 decades of Independence. I can go on and complain about things which are wrong in our country, but I will stop here.

This post is for the things that work and how!

In a country where people change their utmost important appointments due to some celestial object just transitioning another and thereby blocking our line of view of the latter creating a ‘sootak‘, we also have people who are constantly pushing the boundaries of what Indians (and humans) are capable of.

This is for ISRO.

When first humans set foot on the moon
the whole world moved and began to swoon
we also fluttered a bit while still in infancy
started things of our own, though not so fancy

25 days after that giant leap
a small org in India came into being
we were still young and just getting the hang
we started our own, though not with a big bang

Then PM met scientist Sarabhai, joined hands at par
and ISRO got formed from INCOSPAR
with humble beginnings and challenges that mar
it had to overcome them all and travel very far

You are drastically poor and can’t feed your own people
you still use bullock carts as your national vehicle
what are you going to achieve, they always asked
do tasks to mask your poverty, rather than trying to bask

They said, damn, you don’t need a space programme
It won’t work, it will all be a sham,
Just pray for the rain, you are a country of farmers
Harvest food not ideas, anyways you are just snake charmers

But

Some people relented and counter-challenged the challenge
They knew that they had it in themselves, ignored the barrage
Motive was not to display our astronomical might
But it was to give wings to the hope and push it to flight

Since ages India has always been keen in astronomy // and also astrology 🙂
it derailed in between but had to again get autonomy
From Zero to Mysore’s rockets, we always had sound minds
Hungry we might have been, but hungry also for other kinds

So it quietly worked and kept breaking new grounds
Sent several satellites and successes kept doing rounds
With every launch, it generates more and more amaze
It always fazes the doubts, but without hoopla or craze

The people there are, are totally unlike celebrities
The things they do, needs precise degree of alacrity
with apron clad gentlemen and saree clad ladies, young and old
they smile they cheer with subtlety, but that’s how they roll

Whatever its motive that time may have been
For me it is clear from what I have seen
it gives us hope that we can do a lot
Nothing is impossible if we have a mission to be sought

From Aryabhatta to MOM, we have come a long way
ISRO’s eyes are set on targets with no chance of sway
it enlightens the hope to overcome and explore
it keeps successes quiet and let its work to do the roar.

Made this small gesture with ideas from Newspace India and Sandy.

ISROCKS

ISRO’s Mars orbiter mission, Chandrayaan and Aryabhatta satellites

Well, I just wish to see more of their work to be displayed in schools and colleges, more exhibitions of the achievements, occasional site visits of the launches of the PSLVs, more boastful tweets like Elon Musk does, but I know that won’t happen. They will keep building amazing stuffs with seriousness and calm. But I am sure that they will continue to inspire and give smiles to us.

 

 

Update: Came across this interesting video:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWvghWV4WDo&w=560&h=315]