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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chandrayaan I

India launched its first mission to the moon, Chandrayaan I, at 6:22 AM today.

The launch has been perfect so far and the launch vehicle has reached the orbit successfully. It'll take around 15 days from now to reach the moon, our nearest heavenly neighbor. With a cost of Rs 380 crores (USD 83 mn), it's going to the cheapest mission to the moon, even cheaper that what China sent. It carries 11 payloads including 2 from NASA.

ISRO's PSLV series of launches have been immensely successful, with this being the latest (and greatest) feat. This will position India as a leader in space programs rubbing shoulders with only a select few nations in the world.

Space-talk aside, what's especially intimidating to me is that it's hardly been 2 hours since the launch but Chandrayaan's wikipedia page has been updated with the exact information, including the launch time. That is, someone somewhere cared enough to make this information accessible and useful to others, despite the fact that Chandrayaan's launch has been celebrated with a lesser fervor amongst the media (and by extension, amongst Indians) than the passion with which rioters have torched Mumbai following the arrest of Raj Thackrey, the latest Indian barking-pimp. This speaks for itself the kind of stories the children of this country are growing up with.

Anyway, I'm thrilled that Chandrayaan's first leg has been perfect despite rains and rough weather at Sriharikota. I hope it reaches the full journey as perfectly.

Go Team. Go India.
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