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October 22, 2008 / lazybug

No Moon, Please

A New York Times article on India’s successful launch of the Chandrayana-1 begins thus:

India launched its first unmanned spacecraft to orbit the moon early Wednesday, part of an effort to assert its power in space and claim some of the business opportunities there.

Indeed, if it had been the US or the EU, the launch of a moon mission would have been for the greater good of the human kind. But India? What’s it doing claiming some of the business opportunity out there? Stay away please, it’s the property of us Americans and Europeans.

The article ends quoting Bharat Karnad, a Professor and Author, as saying:

“It is kind of a prestige project the government has gotten into,”…“This is misuse of resources that this country can ill afford at this point.”

A little search on the Internet reveals that while Prof. Karnad thinks of the moon mission as a waste of money and India’s attempt to match China, he was critical of the Indian government for not carrying out more nuclear tests.

“I have said that if we don’t test more, not only are we going to be no match for the Chinese, but we will find it difficult to match even the Pakistanis when it comes to deployable arms.”

Indeed, why waste money blasting rockets to the moon when you can use it to blast nuclear bombs here on earth? Makes sense, no? Err…OK.

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7 Comments

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  1. Chittaranjan / Oct 22 2008 7:39 pm

    I don’t see the point of the Moon mission? Why put a man-made satellite around a natural one? Discovery of life? discovery of water? 😐

    Nuclear Research certainly deserves more attention, if not for weaponry, then for energy purposes. In 2074, we’d rather have sufficient energy than terabytes of data about Moon’s southern hemispherical craters 👿

  2. lazybug / Oct 22 2008 7:56 pm

    @Ycee: The space programme of India is as important as the nuclear programme. NYT is bound to be critical about such a thing, that’s their stance on most of the things Indian. And if Prof. Karnad thinks it’s a waste of money to send a mission to the moon, then I’d argue it’s equally a waste of money to blast nuclear bombs when we already are a nuclear power. Further, there’s more money to be made blasting rockets than by blasting nukes!

  3. vinay / Oct 23 2008 5:04 pm

    It’s important to show your progress in every sector and become self-sufficient.

    I remember reading in a telugu daily that a person from Andhra Pradesh has bought a piece of land on moon for about Rs.400 per sq. yard. I don’t remember exactly. Who sold it is the big question that was not answered. He said that the low rates prompted him to do so.

    God save such crazy guys.

  4. chirax / Oct 24 2008 3:51 am

    May be TCS/Wipro open one more out sourcing shop on the moon and charge even lesser as aliens may not understand the salary structures till next 5 years…LOL 🙂

    Anyways..I think space frontiers in an important step in India and theirs will always be critics can’t keep everyone happy you know :). Space programs provide a lot of avenues for us on earth. Good one Akhil.

  5. Sriniani / Oct 24 2008 8:11 am

    See how Telegraph responds to it:

    “Greeted with patriotism in the media, the launch appeared to have distracted India from an economic slowdown, collapsing stock prices and outbreaks of ethnic and religious violence.

    Perhaps remarkably in a nation where hundreds of millions of people live in poverty and millions of children are malnourished, the cost of the mission has scarcely been questioned.”

    Indeed the news is hard to digest for western media!

    See: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/3239516/India-launches-first-unmanned-moon-mission.html

  6. Chittaranjan / Oct 24 2008 8:25 am

    How can it be as important as the Nuclear programme? Agreed, it brings us more knowledge and puts us on a pedestal on the World stage. But thats it. I don’t see any longterm benefits out of it.

    But yeah, there always will be critics 😎 and that shouldn’t deter these R&D minded people.

  7. lazybug / Oct 24 2008 7:55 pm

    @Sriniani: Thank you for the link, sir!

    @Ycee: Err, India put 10 satellites in space and made millions of $s some time back. Surely, there’s more to the space programme than this moon mission.

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