Archive for October, 2008

India Launches Moon Probe

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Since I was a small child, I have been fascinated with flight, but more than that with the idea of space travel. Nothing else quite has the power to awe and inspire me so much as reading about or discovering things about space. Therefore today I had a very moving experience of watching the launch of India’s Chandrayaan 1 Spacecraft. Sadly I did not see it live, although some of my friends did go – the launch site is about 100km from here – but watching it on the TV brought a tear to my eye.

There is something so majestic about the idea of discovery, journeying into the unknown. Although this is an unmanned mission, manned missions are planned in coming years. While there are many things India needs in terms of basic infrastructure and so on, it is a modern country with the potential to be a world leader, so I believe that this sort of program can only serve the interests of the country in the long term. Those who say the money could be better spent have perhaps missed what the space program is bringing to India in terms of partnerships with the rest of the world – including showcasing India’s extraordinary potential for technological partnerships that comes from a highly educated workforce and an inventiveness brought about through necessity.

One of the things I love most about India is the feeling of progression, that something is being built (it’s not hard to get that feeling, there is construction everywhere and nothing ever seems to quite get finished!), and it’s hard not to feel proud to be a small part of that progression.

Watching India launch herself towards the wider universe I can only stand in awe at what humankind has achieved in the 105 years since we first took flight.

The BBC has an article about the launch of the Chandrayaan 1 rocket at

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7679818.stm