Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Off to the moon

Yes, we have other issues to resolve, poverty, farmer suicides as we have been reminded in virtually every article like this since the moon mission was announced, but, we are off to the moon.

Critics say it is a waste of money for a country where 800 million out of a population of 1.1 billion live on less than $2 a day and where child malnutrition is on a par with that of sub-Saharan Africa. Advocates of India’s space programme, however, argue that ISRO makes money from commercial satellite launches and its scientific benefits have played a key role in the development of the country’s information technology industry. [Timesonline]

But, seriously, take a look at the space program in perspective and read for yourself why this is important for us as a country. [Also see]

Take, for example, India's six remote-sensing satellites - the largest such constellation in the world. These monitor the country's land and coastal waters so that scientists can advise rural communities on the location of aquifers and where to find watercourses, suggest to fishermen when to set sail for the best catch, and warn coastal communities of imminent storms [New Scientist]

Add fiction writers turned activists (or is it the other way round), mad journos, leftists, elitist professors, Dark India marketeers to the long list. Once we get this right, we can send this list to the moon.

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