Monday, September 7, 2009

Chandrayaan died of heat stroke!

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Well that's what the the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is saying. We had heard of human beings and animals dying of heat stroke in India's tropical weather but this if for the first time we are hearing of a satellite suffering from the same medical problem. Jokes apart after more than a month of effort ISRO declared having lost communication with the ambitious Chandrayan-I. This meant India's first mission to the moon ended abruptly.

The mission has been more or less successful with ISRO claiming to have finished with 90-95% of the planned mission. India's space agency has anticipated moon's surface would be around 75 degrees Celsius. However the temperature turned out to be more than 75 degrees this started a series of problems. Some of the experiments had to be shut down as a part of the contingency plan but unfortunately ISRO lost communication with satellite about 10 months after its launch.

The bashers of our indigenously technology will make a mockery out of the entire project. There is a certain group which cannot trust the 'Made in India' tag even if moon is manufactured in India. From satellites to military armaments this group want us to remain ever dependent on the West for all our needs. Some of them do it for monetary profits from the MNCs and international arm manufacturers and while others do it due to lack of knowledge and over admiration of the West.

The fact is Chandrayan-I survived in the lunar orbit for 10 months where as many of NASA missions could not last half that time. If NASA is a set standard in space science than ISRO has done a commendable job. Scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences are currently monitoring the performance of their payloads which went aboard in Chandrayan-I.

Let us give ISRO its dues, being from a third world nation and with regular budget constrains it has always delivered more than expectation. ISRO's annual budget in 2007-08 stood at was Rs. 3,858 crore (793 million dollars) compared to 17. 3 billion dollars that NASA spent. Is it thus fair to draw comparison between the two? Hasn't NASA ever failed in its mission? Have we forgotten Space Shuttle Columbia's disaster?

Although we don't sing praises for ISRO its best complement perhaps came from US President Barack Obama when he said “With India’s launch of its first unmanned lunar spacecraft we are reminded just how urgently the United States must revitalise its space programme if we are to remain the undisputed leader in space, science, and technology,’’ It's high time we back our desi science and engineering.


Arun Bala September 16, 2009 at 12:18 PM  

My qustion is why invest for a unmanned moon mission when 40 yrs ago Appollo could do it?

ISRO could have saved that money & invested it for MANNED mission. So much hype!

Why not collect data from Japan/USA who have already pioneered in this. Why sharing of informaion is not done?

If the only reason for this mission was for taking PICS!

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