Being on the NSI podcast

Narayan Prasad, the CEO of SatSearch, hosts a popular podcast called NewSpace India. Every episode, he hosts one person and they talk about something related to the Indian and international space programmes. I was the guest for the episode published January 17, available to listen here (on transistor.fm), in which NP and I discussed India’s space journalism scene and ISRO’s public outreach policies.

Addendum: Where I’m talking about the comparisons between Jonathan McDowell and T.S. Kelso in the West and members of the ISRO subreddit, I repeatedly come back to the ‘not enough information’ bit. But later, I realised I should’ve added that McDowell and Kelso, and others, were probably encouraged to pursue their hobbies by access to knowledge and freely available information whereas India’s space-sleuths, so to speak, seem to be prompted more by the lack of information and knowledge about the national spaceflight programme.

So the former is a productive exercise whereas the latter is compensatory, and whose members’ efforts can be spared – or put to better use in other directions – if only ISRO spoke up more.

Another thing is that I may have overstated the extent to which I’m willing to forgive ISRO its PR fumbles because it’s an outreach noob. I meant to say that if ISRO can be cut any kind of slack, it would have to be on this front alone – but even then not much, and certainly not to any extent that would cede enough room for it to engage in the sort of coverup exercise it did with the CY-2 fiasco in September 2019.

NP is among the most knowledgable members of India’s space science and spaceflight communities, and has consulted for ISRO as well as a number of private companies on policy, strategy and business. I regularly follow his articles and his podcast, and I recommend you do too if you want to get a handle on the ins and outs of India’s modern spaceflight endeavour. The podcast is also available on Apple, Spotify and other platforms.

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