Saturday, November 22, 2008

And ISRO continues to leap ahead.

This blogger, being of a slightly pessimistic variety had held back from the fireworks that gripped the nation as India achieved this feat. But with news of its success coming by, I just could not hold back. Perhaps this is OT, but still trying to blend it in with some Gita quotes.
Chapter 17:

अफलाकंक्सिभिर यज्नो
विधि-दिसतो या इज्यते
यस्ताव्यम एवेति मनः
समाधाय सा सात्त्विकः।

"Of sacrifices, the sacrifice performed according to the directions of scripture, as a matter of duty, by those who desire no reward, is of the nature of goodness."

I shall now explain to you how ISRO would serve humanity in India and the world, through the Chandrayaan-1 without having any regard for themselves (i.e. the scientists.)

Introduction: The Chandrayaan-1 (translated as Moon Vehicle), is India's first mission to the moon. The unmanned lunar mission includes a lunar orbiter and an impactor. It was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on the 22nd October 2008 and inserted into lunar orbit on the 8th November 2008.

It has high resolution remote sensing equipment for infra-red, visible and soft and hard X-ray ranges. It carries five ISRO payloads and six from foreign space agencies, like the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Association), the ESA (European Space Agency) and the Bulgarian Aerospace Agency.

1) Mapping lunar surface for chemical elements and 3 dimensional topography.
2) The impact of a sub-satellite (Moon Impact Probe) on the surface of the moon to get data for future soft landings on the moon.

Other Technical details can be found here:

In return, our scientists get one-eighth of the salary at NASA. Reports say that this is one of the major reasons why India has been able to get cost competitiveness in the space sector. Plus, people should be more grateful to these scientists, as they have not ditched their jobs and gone for other high paying sectors.

The fruits of their labour will entail discovery of several minerals such as iron, magnesium, aluminium, thorium, uranium and even the discovery of helium-3, which is said to be a clean nuclear fuel able to be used in fusion reactors. And there is said to be an abundance of helium-3 on moon, to such an extent that can power the earth for 200 years.

Even for such an important contribution to the society, the ISRO scientists are offered a paltry Rs. 31,000 at entry level posts, Rs. 60,000 at mid-level posts and Rs. 70,000 at high level posts of director and above. (ref.) Which means that while a businessman who has studied much less, and toiled a lot less than a scientist and carries little weight of the country's pride on his shoulders can have a shot at being a millionaire/billionaire, while our scientists are doomed to a middle-class life no matter how much hard they work and no matter how much of the country's esteem is based on their shoulders. All this just because of their love of science and technology.

In comparison, the NASA scientists have an average salary of $88,000 (link). Yet we have PIOs and Indian space scientists working in foreign space agencies flocking to India to work here (link). Now it would be against the intentions of the blog to discourage young Indians from working in ISRO and ditching India, but for the average Indian, I think making such a comparison helps in garnering more support for ISRO, and be more appreciative and grateful of the work (rather service) these scientists do for India.

Hats off to ISRO, you guys there sacrifice your life for a thankless world, and satisfy the definition of a good sacrifice as mentioned in the Gita. But I hope there is a significant section of the society, me included that is grateful to you. Keep up the good work, you have a long way to go (link)..

Some pics:

Pic 1:

In this undated photo provided by the Indian Space Research Organization, Chandrayaan-1, India's maiden lunar mission, sits on the launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, about 100 kilometers (63 miles) north of Chennai, India. India was set to launch its first lunar mission from the center in southern India at 06:20 a.m (0050 GMT) Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008, putting the country in an elite group of nations with the scientific know-how to reach the moon, but also heating up a burgeoning Asian space race. The 3,000 pound (1,400 kilogram) satellite Chandrayaan-1 (Moon Craft in ancient Sanskrit) will join Japanese and Chinese crafts currently in orbit around the moon for a two-year mission designed to map out the whole lunar surface. From AP Photo by AP.

Pic 2:
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Pic 3:


Other Images: [1,2,3,4,5,6]


Anonymous said...

Kudos to ISRO and India! Ive always believd that India is far ahead than many western countries. I'm proud of india!

Gandaragolaka said...

I would arrive at the same conclusion that "All these great scientists are great" from a different perspective:

We cannot disagree that patriotism is a great virtue, but Geeta does not recognise countries and their boundaries. It recognises only dharma and its well-being.

"Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitaha"
It means "if you save Dharma, Dharma will save you."

And presently, caught between the overconsuming capitalism and the corrupt socialism, a governing system guided by Dharma is the only one that can establish everlasting peace and justice in the world. It is this reason, because India is home to Dharma, that our scientists endeavour to take more initiative and achieve grand success.

Everything must be done to establish dharma, not just because you love your country. There is no scope to earn brownie points by celebrating "Human Rights Day" or "World Peace Day" while actually not doing anything worthwhile.

Karmasura said...

Hmm.. interesting thoughts Gandaragolaka.. perhaps that is why the concept of India, the state was quite vague in ancient times, people emphasized on Dharma rather than love for the state. What else can explain people living unaffected in spite of internecine warfare among our leaders of yore..

@ the lover,.. cheers!

Gandaragolaka said...

From one angle, it seems that the huge task of national integration was done almost entirely, though unwittingly, by the British and Sardar Patel took care of what the British couldnt :)

Sriram said...

really an atheist so sorry but a really well maintained blog!

asit dhal said...

ISRO is real treasure for India.....

ISRO has made India proud ....but can I know why did u use all those GITA stuffs ????

Karmasura said...

@ Sriram..

Being atheist and reading the Gita are different things.. you can still read it for what it is and still be an atheist.

Karmasura said...

@ Sriram..

Thanks for appreciating the effort at maintaining the blog!! As you can see, it was launched in July and has a long way to go..

Karmasura said...

@ asit dhal..

Well, I don't know either.. just wanted to start a new way of writing articles, trying to explain stuff I see from the glasses of the Gita.

As the text beneath the blog title suggests, the intention of the blog is to publish articles both on absolute philosophy of the Gita, and on relevant things in our society at large that either obey the Gita or do not and should be that way..

The Solitary Writer. said...

hey brother .....thats a great information abt salary n all.....i knew abt chandrayan ,but u have provided many new information which r worth to be known....gr8 buddy


it was disheartening for many countries to see india leaping forward in space research...

thus followed baseless facts that the chandrayaan was not what it was incapable and insuffiecent...

but who is bothered???where there is will there is way...

i am proud of my nation...and the 11 top notch scientists who worked day and night on it...most of them from my home state...