India launches rocket in hope of joining elite Mars explorer club

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India has launched a rocket it hopes will allow it to join an elite group of space explorers to Mars.

The country's space research organization (ISRO) launched its orbiter to the Red Planet on Tuesday — only NASA, the former Soviet Union and the Europeans have previously been successful in operating probes from Mars.

Japan made an attempt with the Nozomi orbiter in 1998 but it failed to reach the planet and a Chinese probe was lost along with the Russian Phobos-Grunt mission in January 2012. The UK's Beagle 2 probe separated from the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter in 2003 but nothing was ever heard from the lander.

It will take 10 months for India's Mars Orbiter Mission to reach the Red Planet after lifting off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre near Chennai. The probe will explore the planet's surface features, minerals and atmosphere.

ISRO is hoping to discover more about the loss of water from Mars, map the sources of methane gas, as well as collecting data about the two moons Phobos and Deimos.

Written By: Dave Gilbert
continue to source article at cnn.com

48 COMMENTS

  1. And well done to us in the U.k who gave them £665,000,000 last year to help them feed the 40% of their population who do not have enough to eat!!! Perhaps they are looking for food on Mars?

    • In reply to #2 by sunbeamforjeebus:

      And well done to us in the U.k who gave them £665,000,000 last year to help them feed the 40% of their population who do not have enough to eat!!! Perhaps they are looking for food on Mars?

      Which we are about to end! In any case, India has a GDP that is about 1/2 that of the UK and a population that is 16 times the size. When it comes to helping the poor, I don’t think that spending money on science and technology can be considered a waste or an extravagance. Quite the opposite in fact.

      Congratulations to India. I look forward to seeing where their space programme will go next.

      • In reply to #4 by HDV:

        In reply to #2 by sunbeamforjeebus:

        And well done to us in the U.k who gave them £665,000,000 last year to help them feed the 40% of their population who do not have enough to eat!!! Perhaps they are looking for food on Mars?
        Perhaps you’re right,perhaps all the starving, unschooled people looked up from their blankets on the pavement and as they saw the rocket go up in their name,the pangs of hunger were dulled for a moment.Hurrah for technology they shouted!
        Which we are about to end! In any case, India has a GDP that is about 1…

    • In reply to #2 by sunbeamforjeebus:

      And well done to us in the U.k who gave them £665,000,000 last year to help them feed the 40% of their population who do not have enough to eat!!! Perhaps they are looking for food on Mars?

      Not to mention people in the first world who never thought they’d be looking for food in bins or queueing at soup kitchens even as they worked for a living. So do we stop space programmes or politicians and bankers who dick us around?

      • We make sure we feed people before we spend precious resources on ‘trophy’ projects.How many schools,or hospitals could have been built with this money?

        In reply to #5 by Tintern:

        In reply to #2 by sunbeamforjeebus:

        And well done to us in the U.k who gave them £665,000,000 last year to help them feed the 40% of their population who do not have enough to eat!!! Perhaps they are looking for food on Mars?

        Not to mention people in the first world who never thought they’d be loo…

        • In reply to #7 by sunbeamforjeebus:

          We make sure we feed people before we spend precious resources on ‘trophy’ projects.How many schools,or hospitals could have been built with this money?

          You are kind of missing the point that technological developments do far more to help the poor than hand outs.
          Internet access and TV can provide education and weather warnings in remote areas, while SAT-NAVS and cell phones provide better transport, trading possibilities, and help in emergencies. These are all space-related technologies.

          I made a comment on this in the earlier discussion.

          http://www.richarddawkins.net/news-articles/2013/11/2/india-prepares-to-take-flight-to-mars-with-the-mars-orbiter-mission-mom#comments-box-3

          • In reply to #8 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #7 by sunbeamforjeebus:

            We make sure we feed people before we spend precious resources on ‘trophy’ projects.How many schools,or hospitals could have been built with this money?

            You are kind of missing the point that technological developments do far more to help the poor than hand outs…

            I agree that internet access & TV can provide education and weather warnings, so why not provide these instead of launching a Mars probe?

          • In reply to #11 by Mal58:

            In reply to #8 by Alan4discussion:

            I agree that internet access & TV can provide education and weather warnings, so why not provide these instead of launching a Mars probe?

            All of these were developed by the space industries. The Mars probe just sets them targets for improvements and standards of reliability. Without earlier research into pioneering space projects, none of these services would exist. Everything from the digital cameras to the satellites and communications networks are space technology derived.

            India has had TV for decades and satellite TV for years. .

            List of television stations in India

            There are currently 515 over-the-air and satellite ‘television stations in India.[1] Hindi-language television channels have the highest market share. In addition numerous regional channels are available in throughout India, often distributed according to languages.

            Television in India

            Television in India is a huge industry which has thousands of programmes in many languages. The small screen has produced numerous celebrities, some even attaining national fame. More than half of all Indian households own a television.[1] As of 2012, the country has a collection of free and subscription services over a variety of distribution media, through which there are over 823 channels of which 184 are pay channels.

            By the late 1980s more and more people started to own television sets. Though there was a single channel, television programming had reached saturation. Hence the government opened up another channel which had part national programming and part regional. This channel was known as DD 2 later DD Metro. Both channels were broadcast terrestrially.

            PAS-1 and PAS-4 are satellites whose transponders help in the telecasting of DD programmes in half the regions of the world. An international channel called DD International was started in 1995 and it telecasts programmes for 19 hours a day to foreign countries-via PAS-4 to Europe, Asia and Africa, and via PAS-1 to North America.

            List of internet service providers in India

          • In reply to #8 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #7 by sunbeamforjeebus:

            We make sure we feed people before we spend precious resources on ‘trophy’ projects.How many schools,or hospitals could have been built with this money?

            You are kind of missing the point that technological developments do far more to help the poor than hand outs…

            Yes, but aren’t these national chauvinism driven vanity projects hotbeds of superfluous and senseless ‘me too’ duplication in this day and age regardless of who engages in them? Shouldn’t truly productive space exploration which requires massive resources now at long last be a joint project by planet earth rather than by individual nation states engaging in phallus measuring contests and preening self esteem boosting exercises?

            It was silly when the US and the then Soviet Union engaged in it, it’s no less silly now.

          • In reply to #15 by godsbuster:

            It was silly when the US and the then Soviet Union engaged in it, it’s no less silly now.

            Was it? Commercial space revenue is estimated to be around $35 billion per year. Care to take a guess at where most of that revenue is generated? That’s right, the USA and Russia.

            India is in a great position (geographically) to be a major launch centre. It makes perfect sense for them to also develop the expertise necessary to generate their own space industry.

          • In reply to #18 by HDV:

            In reply to #15 by godsbuster:

            India is in a great position (geographically) to be a major launch centre. It makes perfect sense for them to also develop the expertise necessary to generate their own space industry.

            My point appears to be missed, perhaps willfully in a mistaken need to rush to defend India’s particular achievement which I am not detracting from nor trivializing as an achievement in its own right for India.

            I maintain, however, that from a global 21st century perspective it is parochial and an anachronism. National chauvinism except in sports competition is something that we really should be getting over by now.

            Should India be a major launch, tracking, or tech/science centre of any sort? Absolutely. But here’s the model under which this would ideally be happening:

            “The Large Hardon Collider considered as “one of the great engineering milestones of mankind” was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (20 member states, Romania is a candidate to become a member state. Israel and Serbia are associate members in the pre-stage to membership, Pakistan’s name has been unanimously approved by CERN council for the process of achieving associate membership) in collaboration with over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries, as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories. It lies in a tunnel 27 kilometres (17 mi) in circumference, as deep as 175 metres (574 ft) beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland.”

            Collaboration -pooling of resources mental and material- is what has the greatest potential for moving the dial in space exploration and colonization not “me too” space shots in hopes to “join elite clubs”.

          • In reply to #37 by godsbuster:

            Collaboration -pooling of resources mental and material- is what has the greatest potential for moving the dial in space exploration and colonization not “me too” space shots in hopes to “join elite clubs”

            Please tell me you are kidding, right? For a third world country with crippling levels of poverty, we have consistently contributed to CERN and LHC! Here is what CERN says about Indian contribution

            Quote from CERN

            High-energy physicists from India, mainly from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), have been participating in experiments at CERN since the 1970s. Subsequently, the TIFR-EHEP Group joined the L3 experiment, contributing hardware for the endcap hadron calorimeter, making major contributions to core software and participating in important physics analyses such as the lineshape analysis, Higgs searches, QCD and b-quark physics.

            I am guessing CERN would know more about India’s contribution to CERN than you do? Or am I mistaken? Please do your research before spewing any more hatred. As someone who left India and a potential career with DRDO leading possibly to ISRO, to pursue research at Cambridge, I am angered by your remarks. But luckily, your kind of xenophobic view (the “Daily Mail” crowd) and its influence is almost non-existent in British Universities.

            To anyone thinking about moving to UK, from any part of the world, the Daily Mail crowd rarely has any voice in British intelligentsia and British Universities. You might hear them on TV and on newspapers and in the parliament. But general public and academics are way more welcoming and understanding. Britain is still one of the best places to study and pursue research.

          • In reply to #38 by soulreaver:

            In reply to #37 by godsbuster:

            I read your comment 2.5 times. The .5 was when I realized no matter how hard I try I’m not going to understand it beyond that it appears to have no discernible relevance to my comment. I’m “spewing hatred”, “my kind of xenophobic view” ? I tried to glean some guidance from your other posts. Where I did detect a strong and omnipresent whiff of butt-hurt. Perhaps it was just my turn to be targeted ;-)

            I’ll just repeat my point as simply as possible in the vain hope that it might still be understood: Countries (that goes for any country -China, the US, Japan, India etc) should all pool their resources in order to be able to launch space-exploration on the massive scale it requires to make real progress instead of going it alone and carrying the entire burden out of national pride and doing things to show they can too.

          • In reply to #15 by godsbuster:

            In reply to #8 by Alan4discussion:

            Yes, but aren’t these national chauvinism driven vanity projects hotbeds of superfluous and senseless ‘me too’ duplication in this day and age regardless of who engages in them? Shouldn’t truly productive space exploration which requires massive resources now at long last be a joint project by planet earth

            Civilian projects have been avoiding duplication for many years going back to Russian and American competition. Where one scored a first, or looked like scoring a first (such as Russian Venus landers, or the Lunokod moon rover), the competitors did something else. – covering different ground or different technology.

            rather than by individual nation states engaging in phallus measuring contests and preening self esteem boosting exercises?

            It was silly when the US and the then Soviet Union engaged in it, it’s no less silly now.

            However when it came/comes to military projects, or technology (such as launch vehicles) related to military projects, you are much nearer the mark.

            For those who think the Space-Shuttle program (which was developed with a bay to orbit big military satellites) – has ended:

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/30/air-force-secret-space-plane

          • In reply to #15 by godsbuster: Shouldn’t truly productive space exploration which requires massive resources now at long last be a joint project by planet earth rather than by individual nation states engaging in phallus measuring contests and preening self esteem boosting exercises?

            Would that it were so!

            .

          • In reply to #15 by godsbuster:

            In reply to #8 by Alan4discussion:

            Shouldn’t truly productive space exploration which requires massive resources now at long last be a joint project by planet earth

            Some key ones like the International space station are:-

            ISS Assembly Sequence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLLF13IuAMI

            http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/what-is-the-iss-58.html#.UnpSxycUtPZ
            The first piece of the International Space Station was launched in November 1998. A Russian rocket launched the Russian Zarya (zar EE uh) control module. About two weeks later, the space shuttle Endeavour met Zarya in orbit. The space shuttle was carrying the U.S. Unity node. The crew attached the Unity node to Zarya.

            http://www.ioss.ca/Modules.html

            • Name: 10-Port Node (Node 3) -Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: Arthémis Node – Country of Origin: European Union
            • Name: Carleton Science Pallet Tray- Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: Centrifuge Accommodations Module – Country of Origin: Japan
            • Name: Columbus – Country of Origin: European Union
            • Name: Copernic Science Pallet Tray – Country of Origin: France
            • Name: Cupola – Country of Origin: European Union
            • Name: Destiny Module – Country of Origin: United States
            • Name: Common Berthing Mechanism Docking Module – Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: Common Berthing Mechanism to Standard (or DG) port Docking Adapter – Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: Common Berthing Mechanism to Zarya port Docking Adapter – Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: Exercise and Recreation Module – Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: Habitat Module – Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: Habitat Module Core – Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: High Gain Antenna Truss – Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: IOSS Remote Manipulator System – Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: Main Truss to Station Arm Docking Adapter – Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: Multi-Purpose Logistics Module – Country of Origin: Italy
            • Name: Nebulus – Country of Origin: United States
            • Name: Pallet Equipment Airlock – Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: Pirs Docking and EVA Module – Country of Origin: Russia
            • Name: Pressurized Mating Adapter – Country of Origin: United States
            • Name: Pulsar Science Module – Country of Origin: Japan
            • Name: Quest – Country of Origin: United States
            • Name: Radiator Truss Assembly – Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: Sensitive Materials Laboratory – Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: Solaris – Country of Origin: France
            • Name: Soyuz/Progress Docking Module – Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: Stelar Science Module – Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: Storage Module – Country of Origin: Canada
            • Name: Truss Segment – Country of Origin: United States
            • Name: Zarya – Country of Origin: Russia
        • Not really. That was my point, too many people in the first world are going backwards in the way of basic standard of living expectancy. It’s not on the scale of India – if you coldly take it as a numbers game – but it’s a slippery slope. We are quantifiably going away from making sure people are fed and it has nothing to do with space projects and everything to do with how we accept gross inequality.

          In reply to #7 by sunbeamforjeebus:

          We make sure we feed people before we spend precious resources on ‘trophy’ projects.How many schools,or hospitals could have been built with this money?

          In reply to #5 by Tintern:

          In reply to #2 by sunbeamforjeebus:

          And well done to us in the U.k who gave them £665,000,000 last year to help them…

    • In reply to #2 by sunbeamforjeebus:

      And well done to us in the U.k who gave them £665,000,000 last year to help them feed the 40% of their population who do not have enough to eat!!! Perhaps they are looking for food on Mars?

      Fair enough. Stop the aid. But would you mind paying back reparations for 200 years of indentured labour, slavery, genocide and exploitation? Of course, you wouldn’t. I know what you are going to say, “I didn’t do anything. Why do I have to pay for the crimes of my forefathers”

      Again, fair enough, would you get Israel, and France and Britain and others to return the reparations paid by Germany? May be you wont. Because, a white nations crime on another white nation needs to be punished. But if it is a crime committed by a white nation against say Australian aboriginals, native Americans, countless African communities and countless Asian communities, you can just get up and give them independence and walk away, can’t you?

      For a country that prides itself on fair play, that doesn’t sound fair, does it?

      • Well now soulrever,where to start in this outpouring of racist nonsense,lets take things in your order-I do in fact agree that as an Englishman I share in a somewhat inglorious history of imperialism.I do not advocate stopping aid to India,a point which you so conveniently invent.My point is a very simple one,if your family are starving and someone gives you the price of a meal,would you buy food or fireworks? Regarding all the other instances of historical wrongdoing I can only say that I would not argue for reparations.What you do not suggest is the statute of limitations for these wrongdoings? Odd that you do not include the possibility of Japanese reparations for the crimes committed against China from 1937-45,within living memory but not fitting in with your ‘white-on white’ agenda?What about the one million killed during the division of India in 1948,ah yes brown people so doesn’t count?All a bit confused in other words.There are many examples in all countries’ history where a debt is owed but as you claim to know what I am going to say there is no point in saying more.What has it got in it’s pocketses? Soulrever knows! Incidentally on the BBC six o’clock news today the head of the Indian Mars project defended the program by saying that if they did not develop the rocket now the Chinese would have beaten them too it!

        In reply to #12 by soulreaver:

        In reply to #2 by sunbeamforjeebus:

        And well done to us in the U.k who gave them £665,000,000 last year to help them feed the 40% of their population who do not have enough to eat!!! Perhaps they are looking for food on Mars?

        Fair enough. Stop the aid. But would you mind paying back reparations fo…

        • In reply to #19 by sunbeamforjeebus:

          Well now soulrever,where to start in this outpouring of racist nonsense,lets take things in your order-I do in fact agree that as an Englishman I share in a somewhat inglorious history of imperialism.I do not advocate stopping aid to India,a point which you so conveniently invent.My point is a very…

          [Removed by moderator to bring within Terms of Use]. Can be classified to two little categories

          1. “Where do we start, where do we start…, Romans owe us reparations too, the Normans owe us reparations too…”

          Not an excuse. The whole idea of Nuremberg trial and the moral implication behind is that, people are responsible for their actions. Even if it was in the line of duty. There are still loads of British who are alive, who benefited directly from the criminal enterprise that was British Empire.

          1. “Oh it was not just us, look at the Japanese, look at the Stalinists, look at the Turks”

          Again, not an excuse. If you are accused of a crime, you cannot plead innocence solely based on the fact that there are other criminals in the world, can you?

          • In reply to #20 by soulreaver:

            In reply to #19 by sunbeamforjeebus:

            Not an excuse. The whole idea of Nuremberg trial and the moral implication behind is that, people are responsible for their actions. Even if it was in the line of duty.

            Rubbish. Only defeated people are responsible for their actions. This is demonstrated over and over again. Do you think past and present US leaders will ever stand trial for the crimes committed in places like Vietnam where millions died, for authorising kidnapping and torture at so called black sites around the world, for the genocide of the Native Americans, for supporting genocidal dictators in Latin America? Short answer, no. Might is right. Always has been.

            As for the “criminal enterprise that was British Empire” comment, well that is a highly simplistic take on things. The British Empire was a big mixture of things, both good and bad.

            But we are straying off topic!

            To those who are congratulating India, hold your horses. They have only managed to get a satellite into space. Getting it successfully into orbit around Mars in 100% working condition is a different ball game. Maybe we’ll be able to congratulate them in 10 months time. In the world of science, the more the merrier.

    • In reply to #2 by sunbeamforjeebus:

      And well done to us in the U.k who gave them £665,000,000 last year to help them feed the 40% of their population who do not have enough to eat!!! Perhaps they are looking for food on Mars?

      Hi Sunbeamforjeebus, Sorry for coming in late with a reply, I had to ponder a bit whether this question deserves one as I feel this question is totally misplaced. The only real question regarding this news is – Is the Mars exploration really worth the money spent on it? – I think it is.

      Thanks to the millions UK gave as aid for the 40% of the population, that aid is being spent on them and they are grateful. I am an engineer living in India what are my options (a) I can wait for the hunger to be eradicated for the 40% of the population before I can hope for a research grant (b) I can emigrate to UK, or US or wherever there are n’t 40% of people in poverty, where I can hope to be a scientist (c) resign from my natural talent in mathematics and engineering and concentrate on agriculture to help the 40% who do not have enough to eat (d) join the Indian Foreign Service, become a diplomat, enhance my persuasion skills to persuade UK to grant even more aid to kill poverty, …. I can go on with more options, since you do not favor the obvious one right in front of me – to pursue what I (we) can do best (India produces more engineers than UK, what should we all do?), I suggest you help me pick an option, please.

  2. food vs space

    Efficient world wide allocation of funds to have both;
    an answer is right under our noses, if allowed to reach their fullest potential – women. i.e. diverse ideas.

    Not taking away from men, goD love ‘em.

  3. (For those who cry when they see any unindustrialized nation making any kind of progress) Of the fiscal budget ISRO is given 0.34% of which 8% is used in this mission. i.e.only 0.0272% would be used in this mission.

    Not to mention this is the cheapest martian mission in the world.

  4. I’ve heard these claims of wasted money before. Whenever space programs or large scientific endeavours are undertaken, the usual cry of “money could be spent on the poor” can be heard.

    For a start, the program provided employment for large numbers of skilled workers ( mostly Indian I hope), and possibly helped many suppliers and other businesses as a spinoff. A successful mission will bring respect to the Indian scientific community and who knows where that might lead.

    Bravo, I say.

  5. In addition to my last comment #17 I’d like to point to the fact that were the Indian govt to inject a large sum of money into the Bollywood film industry, not a voice would be raised in protest. Everyone knows the the money goes around. Somehow the same injection of funds into space exploration pushes buttons.

    • In reply to #21 by Nitya:

      In addition to my last comment #17 I’d like to point to the fact that were the Indian govt to inject a large sum of money into the Bollywood film industry, not a voice would be raised in protest. Everyone knows the the money goes around. Somehow the same injection of funds into space exploration pus…

      Or if it was a billion £/$ to shore up puppet regime in Saudi Arabia or unjust imperialist skullduggery around the globe in the name of spreading democracy!

      • In reply to #22 by soulreaver:

        In reply to #21 by Nitya:

        That’s so true. You never hear mention of the schools and hospitals that could be built with the money! Huge amounts squandered on armaments never rate a comment either.

  6. Part of me is happy to see Indian technology flourish. On my trip to India in 1985 I tried to sell the Indians on the idea they could become a software giant. This has since come true.

    On the other hand, there is so much poverty there, it seems an irresponsible luxury.

  7. Spaceflight Now is a good site for details, photos, video of launches.


    rather than individual nation states engaging in phallus measuring contest and preening self esteem boosting exercises

    Er, last time I checked, this is what men do – it’s in their nature. Amish men race their horse/buggy, jacked up Ford F-150s cruise streets……

    • In reply to #32 by bluebird:

      Spaceflight Now is a good site for details, photos, video of launches.

      rather than individual nation states engaging in phallus measuring contest and preening self esteem boosting exercises

      Er, last time I checked, this is what men do – it’s in their nature. Amish men race their horse/buggy, ja…

      Oh great, after racism we are now switching to sexism is it?

      • In reply to #36 by tejas_gokhale01:

        racism

        Je ne comprends pas. I do know it works both ways. btw view link @ 32

        sexism

        On the contrary, I am supporting men. ~ Where I live, F 150′s (with maybe a 30 ought 6) are normal. Other day I chatted a bit with two bow hunters from Louisiana at Wal-Mart. Cliche’ as hell, but true.

          • In reply to #41 by tejas_gokhale01:

            Racism has directions?

            Not in space! Seriously, ’twas brought up, so just say’in I know how it feels to be discriminated against (as a female, too).

            Glad you’re proud of India’s MOM, pride is a positive feeling! All space programs rock, especially successful launches.

          • In reply to #43 by bluebird:

            In reply to #41 by tejasgokhale01:_

            Racism has directions?

            Not in space! Seriously, ’twas brought up, so just say’in I know how it feels to be discriminated against (as a female, too).

            Glad you’re proud of India’s MOM, pride is a positive feeling! All space programs rock, especially successful…

            Just to keep it straight, I’ve never said I felt proud of something some expert scientists achieved just because they happen to be from same country. May be felt happy & more related but nothing to be proud of. And whoever here bragging with pride as if Indian Mars mission took off only due their advice to ISRO directors is (too many adjectives)!

          • In reply to #44 by tejas_gokhale01:

            And whoever here bragging with pride as if Indian Mars mission took off only due their advice to ISRO directors is (too many adjectives)!

            Well said! Btw, just looked you up. Are you a BITSIAN by any chance? Me too, EEE, class of 2000 :)

          • In reply to #45 by soulreaver:

            In reply to #44 by tejas_gokhale01:

            And whoever here bragging with pride as if Indian Mars mission took off only due their advice to ISRO directors is (too many adjectives)!

            Well said! Btw, just looked you up. Are you a BITSIAN by any chance? Me too, EEE, class of 2000 :)

            No, I am not that highly educated. BTW your comment at #12 about “white nations” crossed the line. I think Moderators should have removed it.

          • In reply to #46 by tejas_gokhale01:

            In reply to #45 by soulreaver:

            In reply to #44 by tejas_gokhale01:

            And whoever here bragging with pride as if Indian Mars mission took off only due their advice to ISRO directors is (too many adjectives)!

            Well said! Btw, just looked you up. Are you a BITSIAN by any chance? Me too, EEE, class of 2…

            Fair enough. It was meant to provoke a response. I honestly believe there are wildly held double standards when we speak about human rights. I have to confess my ideological bias being a marxist.

  8. In reply to #34 by Alan4discussion:

    From SN article I linked: India joins the elite club of space powers

    As long as there is one nation, or even one individual not involved, is it not still a competition?

    • In reply to #35 by bluebird:

      In reply to #34 by Alan4discussion:

      As long as there is one nation, or even one individual not involved, is it not still a competition?

      Competition gives motivation and flexibility. The Russian Soyuz transport system kept the ISS supplied when the US shuttles were grounded for safety up-grades following crashes.
      There is also considerable competition between contracting companies for development work.

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