Skip to main content

Chandrayaan keeps a low profile

Government bodies are often bags of wind. Not that I'm trying to defame our major achievements in space technology, but could someone please explain why the center is so muted on the launch of Chandrayaan, scheduled for April?


We go trumpeting about ambitious schedules but refuse to offer public notices about slippages. The media goes ga-ga over the initial hype but fails to keep the public informed about delays and failures. We swell with pride over promised national glory but suffer selective amnesia when they're not met. Ignorance, it would seem, is what out populace dwells upon.


A little probing today unearthed the disappointing truth: Chandrayaan is scheduled for launch no sooner that the end of this year...and that's only tentative. It was only two months ago that an ISRO scientist categorically stated that the April schedule would have to be pushed no further than mid-year.


The most pathetic joke (that I'm aware of) that the GoI played on the masses was about claiming that the GMRT was the world's most powerful radio telescope operational at the meter wavelength. That may be technically true, but analyze the severe restriction and you'll realize what an impotent tool we've built. It's akin to constructing an optical telescope that cannot be've got to see whatever comes your way! To make matters worse, these ill-educated bunch of nominal scientists had to further curtail the operability of the telescope (by half) when mobile telephony came to India, because of interference. I must confess, though, that it's been years since I learnt of this compromise and it's possible that alternative arrangements have been put into place now.


Here's a personal anecdote. I was briefly a member of Jyotirvidya Parisanstha (India's oldest amateur astronomy club) during the late '90s. An item in their monthly newsletter bewildered me. It was about the club being mentioned in a CD of amateur astronomy clubs being compiled in the US!! This was worthy of news???!!! In that case all of my designer briefs should make it to the cover of Vogue!


Afterthought: Have I been too harsh on GMRT and ISRO? Correct me if I'm wrong. Just for the record, I'm very proud of these national assets. They easily dwarf most (if not all) of our other achievements.


Anonymous said…
I guess you have every right to keep the organisation on its toes. At the same time, within ISRO you will find some of the best and worst. Having worked closely with them for some of their future satellite antenna tests, I was both pained and awed to see that the scientist we were working with had the energy to battle miles of bureaucracy.
Deepanjan said…
Agreed. The-best-of-the-breed suffer in silence as the countless imbeciles run amok.

I see the ISRO shuttle plying everyday. I just wish I could be seated within!

Popular posts from this blog

This is what Bertrand Russell said about religion...

Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. ... A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.

The year that was

I'm wearing a rather striking shirt, one that makes me feel like a clown fooling around in a graveyard. Roving eyes latch on to me and make me too conscious of myself. Checkered in red, grey, black and maroon, I've excused myself into donning it and looking silly for two reasons. It's Friday and…more importantly, the last working day of the year. Tailored half-a-year back, I never had the courage to wear it, not until today. It's that time of the year when it's time to reflect on the events that transpired. Last year ended on the worst possible note. Dad had expired and I was numb with shock. The repercussions rippled halfway thought this year. Things were so abysmal initially that I had lost the will to live. Acrid in everything I did, I was immensely angered by time phlegmatically flowing through its cadence. It was as if Dad meant nothing to anybody. What right did people have to live the way they always had when Dad was no more? Why was much of the world still