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."
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)..