A Beautiful Mind

The Reflections Of My Mind


Chandrayaan-1. A lot has been written about it and a lot has been said about it. The only thing that has not been described much about it is whether India, the country that is home to some of the poorest people on earth, really needs such a thing or not. For those of you who don’t know what Chandrayaan is here is a brief description of it. Chandrayaan is an unmanned lunar exploration mission by ISRO, India’s national space agency. The estimated cost of the project is around Rs. 4 billion. This is a huge investment by India and I personally believe that we need it. YES!!! We need such a huge investment because of many reasons.

First of all, Chandrayaan-1 is expected to provide India with high resolution mapping of the topographic features of the surface of the moon. This will include the information on the mineral composition of the moon. Chandrayaan-1 is also expected to provide us with information related to the chemical and mineralogical of the permanently shadowed north and south polar regions of the moon. Such information is available in a limited amount across the globe. The various space agencies of the world (NASA, ESA, JAXA and CNSA) have limited information on the composition of the moon and it’s not easy for ISRO to get this information. The exchange of information has always been limited with India, primarily because of unwillingness from their side. However, NASA has been particularly helpful this time. It has provided a low power imaging rader for Chandrayaan-1. This will be useful to identify regions of interest for a future lunar base.

Secondly, Chandrayaan-1 currently carries more than 11 scientific insturments that will carry out several investigations. Some of these instruments are from other space agencies and hence in a way, the collaboration between ISRO and other such agencies has started. I hope this will continue and will result a in good outcome for everyone involved.

Chandrayaan-1 is to be followed by Chandrayaan-2 for more detailed research and then finally Chandrayaan-3. Chandrayaan-3 is a manned space mission expected to begin in 2015. This, even though very expensive and risky, will surely be a major milestone for everyone across the globe.  We need to step up our efforts to setup a landing base on the moon so that India has the ability to conduct such missions on its own in the future.

Speaking about the cost of the project, we need to understand that the cost is just a fraction of what NASA, ESA or JAXA would have invested to do the same thing. In a way this will be helpful for India in the long run. The country has already started launchng small satelites for other countries and can, at a later stage, start an outsourcing bussiness wherein it will launch similar lunar missions for other countries. This will help India in generating a source of income for its own research and hence the tax-payer will not have to pay for such missions.


Written by abeautifulmind1

November 2, 2008 at 9:52 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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