Indian space scientists were celebrating yesterday after the successful launch of a new communications satellite, INSAT-4CR, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The satellite was originally to launch on Saturday, but bad weather meant officials had to delay proceedings for 24 hours. A technical hitch almost caused the launch …
Rather than spending money on space (which I'm normally very much in favour of) to keep the middle and upper classes happy, shouldn't they spend some dosh on getting health/education/electricity etc to their huddled masses?
Oops, forgot USA/Russia/Europe/China there. As i understand it, they have their very own huddled masses.
Is nobody else slightly concerned that India has got its 3-stage rocket technology working? Armageddon here we come...
are you bloody naive or wat !?
The money would be better spent
on driver education and policing, methinks. Having driven in India a fair bit. Clean water, sanitation, education, health and women's rights would also be a higher priority than digital television... Should we mention reducing corruption and making peace with Pakistan too? A bit less spent on cricket would be good.
Could be worse
the money India spends on its space program (and therefore national prestige, something very important to huddled masses) is a fraction of what the US spends on sexual abstinence education over the same period of time.
the latest surveys indicate that females exposed to this education are from 4 to 6 times more likely to engage in sexual acts, depending on the act. i'd say putting up satellites is a better investment.
we can talk about the military budget, too (one trillion USD spent on the Iraq war so far - what's the return on that investment?), but that would be too easy.
required for rural india
You need to be living in India to understand the importance of INSAT. The large number of VSAT terminals and other communication networks to remote rural villages provided by INSAT is invaluable. Being capable of launching its own sattelites, saves India precious foreign exchange. It is cheaper to provide satellite communication rather than wired networks around vast parts of India. Its not all about digital TV and there is already DTH in India provided by other Asian satellite's.
The Register Should've gotten the News from Reaturs instead of its staff, because The launch was secheduled for Sept. 2 at 4:21 PM, and It was launched on the same day with 2 hours delay... If anyone watches NASA launches, it is a standard policy to go within the window of launch.... Launch was not delayed because of some glitch, but unsatisfactory compelition....
Also, I am suprised by the commenting on the page, as they all are talking not through some understanding of India's space program, but from some stupid liberal platform... This was India's 3rd successful launch alone this yr... But more, 2 more launches are waiting in the wing... One is september 20th, and the other is during october... of course, all this will be followed by the most important launch which is a moon orbital mission in Apr. 2008... wikipedia page comes handy in knowing India's robust space program...
@Bert Ragnarok &Nick Pettefar
I saw in one of the BBC or PBS documentaries that Indian Civilian Space Program is unique in that it helps india develop. Most of the satellites sent up provide educational access to the rural arias. Unlike the heavily commercial television of the west, actual classroom lectures are prepared and licensed from worldwide sources and then broadcast countrywide through satellites. So, the satellite launch, even if it seems for DTH television, is actually money well spent since a lot more education has been beamed to the masses with the use of satellites. Do some real research and you'll have a better appreciation of the achievements here.
Economic development entails developing high technology
Don't people get it ? India isn't going to bring broad prosperity to the masses by making cheap T shirts. It needs to develop a domestic high technology (including aerospace) base, develop and cheaply launch satellites that beam education material, weather and hydrological data to its remote villages. It's laughable that westerners, who owe their wealth to their industrial and technological development turn Luddite when it comes to the developing world.
As far as three stage rockets go, the PSLV and GSLV heavy lifters (which can respectively haul 1ton and 2.5 ton payloads to GTO) have been launched well over a dozen times now. This is their third launch this year, and there will be two more - the next being a Israeli spy sat later this month, and in October an oceanographic and meteorological analysis sat meant to augment the ability to study and forecast rainfall patterns - which matters when a significant part of the agricultural land is rainfed. Two of the five launches this year are of foreign military/commercial payloads.
I don't see why this is particularly important news at all. The ISRO has been launching these rockets for over a decade now, and have lofted German, Italian, Belgian and Korean satellites over the years.
Naive and ignorant
Plenty of western nations have people under the poverty line too, doesn't mean they abandon their entertainment systems and space programs.
India has over a billion people, we all know that. So are the hardworking middle and upper class Indians supposed to live without quality entertainment whilst helping the poor ?
Ever heard of multi-tasking ? 1 billion strong population -- not the whole Indian budget and the whole of the Indian population works in the Indian Space Program -- LOL ?
You've got to cater to everyone at the same time.
What if I said the UK should withdraw from satellite development and instead divert the budget to tackle anti-social behaviour and improve the NHS ?
Space research vs spending on welfare
surely you must know that you can earn huge sums of money by launching other people's satellites... as opposed to spending on welfare in india which generally ends up in politicians' pockets
Indian space launch
I feel totally dismayed by the comments such as India needs to spend money on drinking water!! The comments show a dismissive and ignorant attitude of typical westerners who doesn't want rest of the world to develop and compete in today's globalised world. In Britain, there are huge problems with unemployed asbo teens, many years of NHS wait lists, very poor pensioners, industrial run down towns in North, massive debt on young population, substandard and unreliable railways, un-affordable housing. So does this mean Britain must stop spending money on things such as its high-tech industries in Surrey or Cambridgeshire, cut down funding for researchers at Universities, or divert money from science education, or prevent people from wasting money on text messages for stupid tv programmes such as Big brother? Please stop preaching to Indians, historically the Indian civilisation fairs far better than ours. They were building super massive carved monuments and writing philosophy and medicine when our civilisation was living in forests. In last 60 years they have progressed far better considering their totally exploited and impoverished condition left behind by British rule.
Re: Could be worse
By b shubin:
"the money India spends on its space program (and therefore national prestige, something very important to huddled masses) is a fraction of what the US spends on sexual abstinence education over the same period of time.
the latest surveys indicate that females exposed to this education are from 4 to 6 times more likely to engage in sexual acts, depending on the act. i'd say putting up satellites is a better investment. ....."
Hahahahahah. This was a funny post. Some figures would help though - I only found this http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2058066,00.html with a number for the program. Of course it'd fail, the sexual hypocrisy of the USA and England is pretty well known.
Is the Indian space program really costing less than $1G? Cheap. Well done guys!
@ Kamal Hashmi
the estimates for funding of domestic US abstinence-only education range from 1 to 1.75 billion USD over the last 11 years, depending on whom you ask. funding for foreign medical aid programs is supposed to be $1 billion a year, and 33% of that has to be abstinence-only education, or the funds are withheld.
the impact of this policy is negligible domestically and catastrophic internationally.
i think the US would be better off investing this money into India's space program. NASA could use their booster rockets for free, to make the US space program more effective (it's rather inadequate just now, what with all the war and abstinence education spending).