The mission that was 110% successful

Caution: Satire. On October 2, Kailash S., the chairman of the Indian Wonderful Research Organisation (IWRO), announced that the Moonyaan mission had become a 110% success. At an impromptu press conference organised inside the offices of India Day Before Yesterday, he said that the orbiter was performing exceptionally well and that a focus on its secondaryContinue reading “The mission that was 110% successful”

Review: ‘Mission Mangal’ (2019)

This review assumes Tanul Thakur’s review as a preamble. There’s the argument that ISRO isn’t doing much by way of public outreach and trust in the media is at a low, and for many people – more than the most reliable sections of the media can possibly cover – Bollywood’s Mission Mangal could be theContinue reading “Review: ‘Mission Mangal’ (2019)”

Why are we going to the Moon again?

At 2:51 am on July 15, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch its Chandrayaan 2 mission on board a GSLV Mk III rocket from its spaceport in Sriharikota. The rocket will place its payload, the orbiter, in a highly elliptical orbit around Earth. Over the next 16 days, the orbiter will raise itsContinue reading “Why are we going to the Moon again?”

For space, frugality is a harmful aspiration

Ref: ‘ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 mission to cost lesser than Hollywood movie Interstellar – here’s how they make it cost-effective’, staff, Moneycontrol, February 20, 2018. ∞ ‘Chandrayaan-2 mission cheaper than Hollywood film Interstellar’, Surendra Singh, Times of India, February 20, 2018. ∞ The following statements from the Moneycontrol and Times of India articles have no meaning: The cost ofContinue reading “For space, frugality is a harmful aspiration”

Space is necessarily multifarious, ISRO

Here’s a great example of why space-exploration is a multifarious industry where it takes excellence on multiple fronts at the same time to make each mission a success, even on seemingly unrelated fronts. The example also shows the pride of financial frugality can last only for so long. Despite many firsts, ISRO mum on MOM’s findingsContinue reading “Space is necessarily multifarious, ISRO”

ISRO keeps up steady trickle of photos from Mars Orbiter

The Wire May 23, 2015 On May 22, the Indian Space Research Organization released two new pictures snapped by the Mars Orbiter Mission, currently in orbit around the red planet. They were taken by the Mars Colour Camera on-board the orbiter in February and April, and follow a heftier batch of photos released in the third week ofContinue reading “ISRO keeps up steady trickle of photos from Mars Orbiter”

It’s time for ISRO to reach for the (blue) sky

The Wire May 19, 2015 Almost 40 years after the launch of Aryabhata, the Indian Space Research Organisation successfully placed another satellite into orbit, this time around Mars – becoming the world’s first space agency to have done so in its debut attempt. There are many similarities between the April-1975 launch of Aryabhata, India’s first satellite, and the September-2014 orbit-insertion ofContinue reading “It’s time for ISRO to reach for the (blue) sky”

The GSLV Mk-III is no jugaad

Scroll December 18, 2014 (Note: This piece was written in the future-tense and published before ISRO’s successful test flight this morning.) Come Thursday, the Indian Space Research Organisation will launch its GSLV Mk-III rocket from its launch pad in Sriharikota. In the run-up, most media attention has been on a conical module the rocket willContinue reading “The GSLV Mk-III is no jugaad”