Ravi and Bhaskar, two teenagers who have keen interest in space, go on a school trip to a Planetarium. While they learn about space and the Solar System, we as audience learn with them. And with that we take a deep dive into the nostalgic TV program Brahmaand of late 1980s and early 1990s.
It is always fun to go back to watch old TV shows which you would have seen when you were really young. But even some episodes which you never saw again, their impact is so big that the scenes gets etched into the memories and the intro jingle gets hardwired into the grey matter.
I was watching Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics produced Brahmaand on YouTube lately. It was made to generate interest in youngsters about Science and Space. Professor Jayant Narlikar of IUCAA himself stars in it and calls the students and explains the mysteries of Space. Searching further, I also found out his interview taken just a few days back from some people who might have got inspired by such shows.
Funnily, when the show was being shot Jupiter had only 14 known satellites and Saturn had just 10. Now in 2021, we have found out that Jupiter has around 79 moons and Saturn has 82. In 30 odd years, a lot more has been known. The cgi has become indistinguishable from reality. But the charm of those Doordarshan days is still sweet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, just before noon PT (3 p.m. ET; 2000 UTC/GMT), NASA’s InSight mission will land on Mars! The spacecraft will plunge through the thin Martian atmosphere, heatshield first, and use a parachute to slow down. Then, it will fire its retro rockets to slowly descend to the surface.
Yours is among 2.4 million names that will be on Mars when InSight touches down. Once on the surface, InSight will study the deep interior of Mars to advance our understanding of the early history of all rocky planets, including Earth.
Actually, some time back, I saw a post from NASA on my Instagram feed. It said that the Insight Mission which is going to land on Mars in November 2018 will carry names of people who sign up via a form. Just the names, no DNA or anything. They don’t want to contaminate Mars (further). I had signed up without giving another thought. And the day is here!
Today (tonight), hopefully, my name, along with 2.4 million others will land on Mars. To put in percentage, out of 7 odd billion people, only 0.03% of people would have their names landing on Mars tonight. I am not joking. Can you imagine how exciting this actually is? Although the mission is not about that. But having your name on a different planet is a feat in itself, right?
But on a serious note, after Curiosity this would be the first mission which actually lands on the Martian surface.
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
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.
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.