Why we need *some* borders between us

Borders are often a bad thing because they create separation that is unconducive for what are generally considered to be socially desirable outcomes. And they’re often instituted to maximise political outcomes, especially of the electoral variety. However, as electoral politics – and the decisions politicians make leading up to elections – become increasingly divisive, theContinue reading “Why we need *some* borders between us”

Starlink and astronomy

SpaceX’s Starlink constellation is currently a network of 120+ satellites and which, in the next decade, will expand to 10,000+ to provide low-cost internet from space around the world. Astronomers everywhere have been pissed off with these instruments because they physically interfere with observations of the night sky, especially those undertaken by survey telescopes withContinue reading “Starlink and astronomy”

Playing the devil’s advocate on Starlink

After SpaceX began to launch its Starlink satellite constellation to facilitate global internet coverage, astronomers began complaining that the satellites are likely to interfere with stargazing schemes, especially those of large, sensitive telescopes. Spaceflight stakeholders also began to worry, especially after SpaceX’s announcement that the Starlink constellation is in fact the precursor to a mega-constellationContinue reading “Playing the devil’s advocate on Starlink”

Finding trash in the dumpster

Just as there’s no merit in writing a piece that is confused and incomplete, there’s no merit in digging through a dumpster and complaining that there’s trash. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt when The Quint publishes something as ass-backwards as this article, titled ‘SpaceX or ISRO, Who’s Winning the Race to Space?’,Continue reading “Finding trash in the dumpster”

ISRO v. SpaceX doesn't make sense

Though I’ve never met the guy, I don’t hold Pallava Bagla in very high regard because his stories – particularly of the Indian space programme – for NDTV have often reeked of simplistic concerns, pettiness and, increasingly of late, a nationalistic pride. The most recent instance all these characteristics were put on display was FebruaryContinue reading “ISRO v. SpaceX doesn't make sense”

ISRO v. SpaceX doesn’t make sense

Though I’ve never met the guy, I don’t hold Pallava Bagla in very high regard because his stories – particularly of the Indian space programme – for NDTV have often reeked of simplistic concerns, pettiness and, increasingly of late, a nationalistic pride. The most recent instance all these characteristics were put on display was FebruaryContinue reading “ISRO v. SpaceX doesn’t make sense”

Is it so blasphemous to think ISRO ought not to be compared to other space agencies?

Is it so hard to consider the possibility that we might get a better sense of ISRO’s activities if we did not keep comparing it to those of other space agencies?

SpaceX rocket blows up but let's remember that #SpaceIsHard

The Wire June 30, 2015 “… it’s not all or nothing. We must get to orbit eventually, and we will. It might take us one, two or three more tries, but we will. We will make it work.” Elon Musk said this in a now-famous interview to Wired in 2008 when questioned about what theContinue reading “SpaceX rocket blows up but let's remember that #SpaceIsHard”

SpaceX rocket blows up but let’s remember that #SpaceIsHard

The Wire June 30, 2015 “… it’s not all or nothing. We must get to orbit eventually, and we will. It might take us one, two or three more tries, but we will. We will make it work.” Elon Musk said this in a now-famous interview to Wired in 2008 when questioned about what theContinue reading “SpaceX rocket blows up but let’s remember that #SpaceIsHard”

SpaceX nears big test to return human spaceflight to America

Since the end of the space shuttle era, no American spacecraft has ferried American astronauts to the International Space Station. While NASA has no problem with letting Russia stepping in and transporting the astronauts, escalating tensions with the Asian giant over its de facto annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea have left politicians bristling with the idea of having to depend on the Russians. A big step toward rectifying it comes on May 6.