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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

India to the Moon

posted by on October 21 at 12:14 PM

Launching Chandrayaan-1:

Following in the footsteps of regional rivals China and Japan, India will launch its first unmanned moon mission Wednesday morning.

The unmanned rocket Chandrayaan-1 is scheduled to lift off at 6:20 a.m. local time Wednesday (8:50 p.m. ET Tuesday) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on the island of Sriharikota off the Bay of Bengal.

The rocket, which cost 3.86 billion rupees ($94.4 million) and has a take-off weight of more than 1.3 tonnes, is scheduled to orbit the moon on a two-year mission.

The rocket will carry 11 scientific payloads: five from India, two from the U.S. and one each from Britain, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria. India’s space agency said the probe will map a three-dimensional atlas of the moon and study the chemical and mineral composition of its surface.

This is the second space race.

India will become the third Asian country to send an unmanned mission into lunar orbit, as Japan and China both successfully launched lunar probes in 2007. The United States, Europe and the former Soviet Union have also previously sent probes that have orbited or landed on the moon.

The third space race? Africa, the Middle East, and South America? South Africa, Iran, and Brazil?

RSS icon Comments


What -- we're supposed to be surprised that everyone else in the world is NOT 'backwards' when it turns out they have brains, and persist in developing technology & industry, too??

Posted by PC | October 21, 2008 12:35 PM

ok. I can see a really bad joke here. So forgive me for taking a stab at it.

A: Hyderabad, we have a problem.
B: You've reached the Support Line. This is Sam, how may I help you?
A. WTF we think we might have lost a tile during take-off.
B: Ok. Let's see what might have caused that. Can you do the following for me.
A: You fucking idiot. I told you what just happened. The ceramic tile on the body of the spacecraft fell off.
B: Ok. I still need you to run a system scan from the interior then do an exterior System scan.
A: But that'll take 4 days. We only have 3 days of rations and energy on board. Who is this I'm talking to?
B: this is Sam.
A: No you're not Sam. You're Maneesh.
B: No Maneesh is not at this number. This is Sam from the Dell Support Line.
A: You fucker how the fuck did this line get rerouted to the Dell Support Line. I need the Indian Space Program.
B: Oh the Indian Space Program Mission Control. Let me connect you to them.

Posted by apres_moi | October 21, 2008 12:41 PM

Is it really a sound idea to launch a rocket from the middle of such a heavily vegetated area?

Posted by kinaidos | October 21, 2008 12:50 PM

Something's got to get rid of the trees before they pave it. Bulldozer or rocket fuel gets done.

Posted by naan | October 21, 2008 12:54 PM

#1, uhh... no?

Posted by w7ngman | October 21, 2008 12:54 PM

Um, Chaz, there is no "second space race" or "third space race" - the "space race", the first and only one to-date ended July 20th 1969.

We won.

It was in all the newspapers.

Everybody else is just playing catch up.

The "second space race" will begin the moment someone; whether it's the Chinese, or Indians, or Russians, or whomever, publicly announces they are embarking on a concerted program to send a manned mission to Mars. Not just some election-year "long-range feasibility study" crappola, but something that lays out an actual program, including funding, and Requests for Proposals for the hardware and infrastructure needed to get there and back.

Posted by COMTE | October 21, 2008 1:05 PM

India faces an uphill battle in space because the mass of paint required for the rocket names will severely limit their payloads.

Posted by butterw | October 21, 2008 1:16 PM

11 scientific payloads, and no funny little monkey?

What we really need is a funny little monkey in an adorable little monkey spacesuit, scampering around the moon looking for space peanuts.

I'd stay up late to see that.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | October 21, 2008 4:44 PM

I think this will give Indians same level of self-confidence as did the nuclear explosions in 1998. Sometimes the abstract high profile research is important for lift the national morale.It may of little or no practical use, but to overcome difficult problems is enough to convince overseas investors about the prowness of the engineering labor markets in India. I think this investment will prove to return many times over in long and short run.

Posted by ApM | October 21, 2008 9:13 PM

India is a great country, with a long intellectual tradition. They're curious enough about the universe to do exploring on their own and not depend on others. Very impressive.

As for this comment "Is it really a sound idea to launch a rocket from the middle of such a heavily vegetated area? "

It doesn't look much different from a similar scene at Kennedy Space Center. The rocket is on the mobile launcher which is rolling it out to the actual launch site, far away from the assembly building.

Posted by Steven Bradford | October 21, 2008 9:33 PM


Is it really a sound idea to launch a rocket from the middle of such a heavily vegetated area?

blastoff normally happens at Launch Pad which is normally 4 to 6 Km from the Assembly building, and clear of all vegetation

Posted by S.AR | October 22, 2008 6:04 AM

India will be the fifth country to join the moon race excluding Europe. Great!!!!!!!!!

Posted by India's moon mission | October 22, 2008 10:03 AM

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