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Indian Prime Minister Formally Announces Mars Mission

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the joining-the-club dept.

Mars 212

neo12 writes in with the news that India plans on being the 6th country to launch a mission to mars. "Making the first formal announcement on the country's Mars mission, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said India will send a mission to the Red Planet that will mark a huge step in the area of science and technology. 'Recently, the Cabinet has approved the Mars Orbiter Mission. Under this Mission, our spaceship will go near Mars and collect important scientific information,' he said addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of the 66th Independence Day."

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And What of Custer? 7th Cav? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006337)

What do they think of all this?

!!

Third

All for $100 million ? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006401)

India claims it can send something to orbit the Mars for $100 millions.
 
Can anyone believe that?
 

in unrelated news (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006411)

Romney announces he will outsource NASA to india.

Re:in unrelated news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006443)

... for $ 100 million ?

Re:in unrelated news (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006459)

George W. Bush didn't do that already?

I sure would like to see Bollywood fake a Moon landing. Think of the song and dance possibilities!

Re:in unrelated news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006935)

Why fake it? They should send Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Amir Khan and all of them to Mars. Anything goes wrong, they can radio back, 'Bangalore, we have a problem'.

Re:in unrelated news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006913)

Since NASA funding has all but disappeared, why not just sell NASA to India? Merge it w/ India's ISRO, and from Mars, they can radio back, 'Bangalore, we have a problem!'

Re:All for $100 million ? (4, Interesting)

neither_geek_nor_ner (1002460) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006805)

India spent $90 million to send a LRO (to the moon) as detailed here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandrayaan-1 [wikipedia.org] . The US spent $583 million to do the same http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Reconnaissance_Orbiter [wikipedia.org] . Why do you think jobs are being shipped overseas from the US?

Re:All for $100 million ? (4, Funny)

darkHanzz (2579493) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006851)

And if I read the pages correctly, NASA's probe still works, while India's stopped working after a year. thank you, come again...

Re:All for $100 million ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007657)

And if I read the pages correctly, NASA's probe still works, while India's stopped working after a year.
thank you, come again...

If I have a problem that can be solved by a $90 tool and the store only offers me a $583 one that not only will solve my problem but also 10 other problems I don't have then I would probably go to another store.
If my customers want me to develop something that should have a development cost of about $90k and I only offer them a solution for $583k that I think will be a better solution then they are likely to go somewhere else. (And probably not come back.)
Overengineering is a huge flaw and a lot of the times it's even preferable to deliver a subpar/faulty but inexpensive product than delivering something that works well but does and cost way too much. (Yes, marketing is all about talking about quality but you can talk about it all you want, customers will still buy the cheapest product that solves their problem.)

Re:All for $100 million ? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006909)

Chandrayaan-1 failed in less than one year and half of its science payload was donated by other countries. It had severe thermal issues that prevented it from using more than one science mission at a time for a while. They eventually had to boost the orbit to try to cool it down, but it still failed.

The LRO doesn't have any donated science payload and has a far more comprehensive mission than that of the Chandrayaan-1. The LRO has completed a comprehensive and detailed map of the surface of the Moon as well as discovering water in a crater with LCROSS. The LRO is running fine and will probably be in orbit and returning data for several more years. This is what another $500 million gets you.

Water was also discovered by Chandrayaan-1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007457)

And whereas it is true that it failed to cover its 2 year mission , instead of 1 year and a half it did, it was a power supply problem, something which can be solved for less than 400 million $ and a bit more experience.

Re:All for $100 million ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007359)

I read that the Plutonium fuel alone for Curiosity is $100M. Quality is expensive and you get what you pay for.

Re:All for $100 million ? (5, Funny)

guttentag (313541) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006887)

India claims it can send something to orbit the Mars for $100 millions. Can anyone believe that?

You need to read between the lines here. They're going to build a $10 million communications satellite and hitchhike on a Russian rocket (which, based on Russia's Mars exploration history, means the rocket will die somewhere on the way to Mars... just ask China how that deal worked out for them) by offering to put $90 million toward fuel. Then they will route all call center traffic through this satellite, introducing a latency of several minutes between the caller and the call center rep, causing most callers to give up without costing the companies they called any money. So yes, I believe they will attempt it, but no, they will not succeed because all of Russia's attempts (Russia, not the USSR) have failed so far.

Re:All for $100 million ? (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006955)

Discarded mod points for two months, and now I want a funny for OP. Damn!

Re:All for $100 million ? (4, Interesting)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006917)

Let's see, the United States, paying US rates for labour, managed to build, fly and land the Pathfinder on Mars for about $150 million ('92 dollars) in direct expenditure and spent about the same again running the mission. I think the Indians could conceivably an equivalent mission for less direct expenditure, but that is not a good measure of the peripheral expenditure and effort that would be required to obtain a similar knowledge and infrastructure base to that the US started from.

Re:All for $100 million ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007041)

Well and I'm sure folks at NASA will be happy to pick up the phone when India calls with tech questions.

Re:And What of Custer? 7th Cav? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006777)

This is excellent news. At last we can stop sending them billions in aid every year. Seems like they have plenty of cash.

They have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006809)

This is excellent news. At last we can stop sending them billions in aid every year. Seems like they have plenty of cash.

But they still don't mind the aid.

Yes. Ditto Israel. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007031)

They have enough money to build nukes and stuff. Why are we donating billions in financial and military aid every year?

Pool ressources (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006347)

I am always surprised to see so many countries going at it by themselves, if we pooled resources, we would be maybe a couple of steps forward, instead of sending orbiters and robots.

Re:Pool ressources (0)

Chatterton (228704) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006481)

Not only that. It's clear that india is a country how have not anymore any problems to solve like enegy production and distribution, rising education level in the poorest places of the country... They should spend their money to make india a place where i would love to emigrate than to spend it for the glory to be the first to send humans on mars.

Re:Pool ressources (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006571)

There is a balance to be had between R&D, exploration, and economic development. If every country in the world waited until they solved all of their social problems, then there would be no R&D or exploration. Additionally, R&D and exploration are related to economic development.

The fact that India is planning on being serious about a space program implies that they are becoming serious about R&D. And with R&D comes economic development which will help out their social problems.

Re:Pool ressources (2)

Znarl (23283) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006733)

Sure, R&D, exploration and economic development are nice things to have. But then there's this:

http://motherchildnutrition.org/india/overview-india.html [motherchildnutrition.org]

"38.4% of children under age three are stunted, that is too short for their age and 46% are underweight that is too thin for their age. Both indicators have slightly improved from 1998-99."

Re:Pool ressources (2, Insightful)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006757)

And in America, one in three children are overweight or obese. [heart.org]

Should we call back Curiosity?

Re:Pool ressources (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006787)

Of course not! You take the kids' excess food, sell it, and use the money to send another rover, Obesity.

Re:Pool ressources (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006815)

I see. Once stock market and real estate pyramid schemes failed, you are going to ride on a fat pyramid scheme until that fails too.

1. Establish a fat-based pyramid scheme.
2. ????
3. Americans are no longer fat!

Re:Pool ressources (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#41007321)

1. Establish a fat-based pyramid scheme.
2. ????
3. Americans are no longer fat!

You forgot one thing:

4. Profit !
 

Re:Pool ressources (5, Insightful)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006759)

If only our govenment would realize that a space program is more than a galactic pissing contest, that it is a investment ito new knowledge and technology. War isn't the only thing that brings with it new tech, space travel brings new tech because of the never before encountered situations and challenges. The tech developed there can be applied elsewhere as well and with technology comes a raised standard of living.

Re:Pool ressources (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#41007033)

Call me cynical, but I think government types realize the value of technology and research far more than your average citizen. Many voters seem to like NASA, but they don't get as excited as they do about the prospect of tax cuts, even ones that don't apply to them.

Re:Pool ressources (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006681)

Why do you think spending more money on education improved the results? It hasn't anywhere else.

Corruption (1, Redundant)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006735)

Corruption in India is unlike corruption in other places on earth, for in India, corruption is the norm, not the exception

Funds spent on anything - including education - would be reduced 80% to 90% by the time the money reaches the intended target(s)

And the Indian government's announcement that they will spend $100 million dollars on the Mars exploration project (BBC is reporting it as I type) means the project actually cost in between $10 million to $20 million dollars

Incredible, simply incredible !

If the Japan announces that they are going to explore Mars, I would have put more credence on it than this announcement from India

I'm sorry, it's not that I'm anti-India or something - but things that sound too good to be true, may be just that, too-good-to-be-true
 

Re:Pool ressources (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006745)

We (the US) shouldn't be doing a lot of things, most importantly goading countries so that we could attack and them, given our state of economy. India has the money throw at it. Do you seriously think we would have let India/China pool their resources into the X-51 WaveRider project or any such "dual use" tech project?
Lets practice some that we try to preach.

Re:Pool ressources (5, Interesting)

neither_geek_nor_ner (1002460) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006761)

This is very interesting. Nobody says this to the US or European countries or Japan or China that you solve all your problems first before going in for scientific advancement. Even the richest of countries have the homeless and the destitute. The US should not go in for the Mars or Voyager or Pioneer missions as there still are some homeless people in New York? NASA's achievements are followed all over the World as the achievement of human-kind. Moreover, India is not a tin-pot dictatorship where things are done on the whims and fancies of the dictator. The middle-class in India is larger than the population of the whole of the US. They should not have any aspirations?

Re:Pool ressources (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007073)

I have an idea. How about india fuck off with their missions to mars UNTIL THEY STOP NEEDING THINGS LIKE AID FROM AMERICA AND BILL-GATES to solve simple shit like getting CLEAN WATER AND NOT GETTING TB OR AIDS.

How cute (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006353)

I'm sure Curiosity will wave as they go by.

Thankfully (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006373)

Now that America is becoming a 2nd world country, I'm glad someone is stepping up to fill the role of trying to advance humanity beyond our current bounds.

Re:Thankfully (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006507)

1st world - US allied
2nd world - Soviet Union and China allied
3rd world - Non-allied

This is a Cold War term. The Cold War is over, so stop using it. Saying that the US is becoming a 2nd world country sounds ridiculously stupid to someone who understands what these terms actually mean (meaning that the US is becoming an ally with the Soviet Union and rejecting its alliances with NATO).

Re:Thankfully (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006663)

From everyone's favorite "ridiculously stupid" source [wikipedia.org] :

In other words, the concept of "Second World" was a construct of the Cold War and the term has largely fallen out of use since the revolutions of 1989, though it is still occasionally used to describe countries that are in between poverty and prosperity, many of which are communist and former communist countries today.

Let's see now:
1. America heading toward a condition between poverty and prosperity? Check.
2. America heading towards communism? Check.

Thankfully another nation is willing to pick up the torch of shooting for greatness, while Americans wallow in self-absorbed self-pity.

Re:Thankfully (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006829)

If America was heading toward Communism, I would certainly notice.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, it heads back to the same feudalism that it tried to skip, not unlike Russia that was thrown into development of modern Capitalism that it also tried to skip.

Re:Thankfully (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007169)

More from that link (emphasis mine):

The term "Second World" was a phrase used to describe the communist states within the Soviet Union's sphere of influence or those countries that had centrally-planned economies.

So I can rephrase that one for you:
2. America heading towards a centrally-planned economy? Check.

--
Contrary to popular belief, the secular god leftism does indeed lead to disaster.

Re:Thankfully (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007539)

2. America heading towards communism? Check.

Nobody is headed towards communism, you don't understand what that word means. Socialism, possibly- although that's a matter for debate. Even the Chinese are not headed towards Communism, and neither was the USSR. The stated end goal of Communism was just a public relations smokescreen to get people to buy into socialism and dictatorship. The stated end goal of Communism is a complete abolition of all government control and the abandonment of a monetary system, it's a Utopian dream where everybody gives each other back rubs and handjobs and nobody ever tries to take advantage of anybody else.

1. America heading toward a condition between poverty and prosperity? Check.

Well no fucking shit, genius. Show me a country which is all the way on one end or the other- you can't because it doesn't exist. ALL countries exist in the middle somewhere.

Thankfully another nation is willing to pick up the torch of shooting for greatness, while Americans wallow in self-absorbed self-pity.

Have you ever BEEN to India? We're sending them a holy fuckload of money because their entire country is in the shit-house. The streets are literally reeking of shit and clean water is hard to find. Yes, I applaud them for making efforts into space, but this is a far fucking cry from greatness.

Re:Thankfully (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006575)

Now that America is becoming a 2nd world country

About time this damn Cold War ended. I thought I'd never be able to leave my bunker.

Re:Thankfully (2)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006701)

Finally those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes, eh comrades?

Re:Thankfully (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#41007123)

First world, second world had nothing to do w/ the Cold War. First world meant the first known world to Europeans at the time, which was Europe, the Middle East and the Mediterranean coasts of Africa (think the kingdoms of ancient Egypt, Carthage). The second world was what Columbus discovered - the Americas. The third world was the rest of the world that went on to be colonized by European powers - most of Africa, India, South East Asia and so on.

Priorities! (1, Insightful)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006421)

Supposedly 30% of their households don't have electricity and the remainder suffer from regular blackouts, and they want to go to Mars?
How about a simpler mission first: get from one side of Delhi to the other without hours in traffic.

LOL!

Re:Priorities! (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006563)

and their cars [indiatimes.com] catch [indianexpress.com] fire [tribuneindia.com]

Re:Priorities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006627)

and their cars catch fire

 
Simple, stuff the Indian rockets with Indian cars and the rockets will never be running out of fire
 

Re:Priorities! (4, Funny)

guttentag (313541) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006687)

and their cars [indiatimes.com] catch [indianexpress.com] fire [tribuneindia.com]

At least they weren't big fires. They were Nano fires.

Re:Priorities! (5, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006613)

In all seriousness, it's cheaper and easier to send a rocket to Mars than it is to undertake the kind of legislative and social engineering required to fix Delhi's traffic and India's electrical problems.

Re:Priorities! (5, Insightful)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | more than 2 years ago | (#41007323)

Sadly, it's not "Funny", it's "Informative".

Re:Priorities! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006635)

Gotta build new shanty towns somewhere, might as well be mars.

Re:Priorities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006645)

Your arrogance is exceeded only by your stupidity.

Re:Priorities! (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006877)

Your arrogance is exceeded only by your stupidity.

Communicated like a true Anonymous Coward, and as expected, quite ignorant.

Re:Priorities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007289)

Communicated like a true Frosty Piss, and, as expected, it is coming from your mouth.

Re:Priorities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006651)

And like you don't have traffic jams in the developed world? http://www.oddee.com/item_97173.aspx

Re:Priorities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006655)

Wow America has no unemployment and no social issues of any kind?

Re:Priorities! (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006789)

No we do, but (unfortunately) we also have bee systematically killing our space program.

Re:Priorities! (2, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006671)

Try to look at it from their point of view. They don't see it as "going to Mars" so much as just getting out of India. I hear they've got 600,000,000 volunteers...

(yes, I do realize it's not actually a manned mission; just play along)

Re:Priorities! (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006739)

What makes you think they're not trying to do the simpler stuff first? Getting people to use more efficient transportation is a lot more difficult than space travel! There will be a manned colony on Pluto before we fix the traffic mess In Los Angeles, never mind Delhi!

Re:Priorities! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006743)

Can't wait to see how hard this fails, as everything in India has:

Rampart bribery to get this moved along
Corporate espionage with 2 other companies stealing the designs to try and undercut whoever won the contract
Everything crashing and burning due to cutting all corners
Hiring all mission control staff from the usual pool of call center drones, resulting in many "doing the needful" and demanding a document on the simplest of procedures as out of the box thinking is just something not done.

Re:Priorities! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007453)

Can't wait to see how hard this fails, as everything in India has:

Rampart bribery to get this moved along
Corporate espionage with 2 other companies stealing the designs to try and undercut whoever won the contract
Everything crashing and burning due to cutting all corners
Hiring all mission control staff from the usual pool of call center drones, resulting in many "doing the needful" and demanding a document on the simplest of procedures as out of the box thinking is just something not done.

 
What worries me the most is not if the rocket will fly
 
What worries me the most is that the thing will fly to Mercury, instead of Mars
 

Re:Priorities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007501)

Keep waiting bro.

Those remote sensing satellites that take pictures of your dingy apartment multiple times a month were all made and launched by ISRO.

Comparing ISRO staff to call center staff is like comparing NASA staff to burger flippers from nearby chain. Say what, compadre? Tell me how you are not a racist.

Since when can someone claim to know everything about India? Except, maybe, basement dwellers whose wet dreams are spewed out on messageboards and appreceated by like-minded creatures.

Re:Priorities! (1)

Lapog (1761760) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006803)

Despite your 'LOL', I believe the priorities are correct.

If you really understood what priorities for government mean (that different branches of a government have their respective priorities) then you'll also understand that the traffic in Delhi or the power cuts have nothing to do with India's space ambitions.

Oh wait. . . this is slashdot. So, anything ambitious/expensive/challenging attempted by any non-western country is by default LOL. . .

That comes up every time about india (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006857)

The difference of budget and the technological windfall will make a stronger difference than bring electricity to a few more household.

Re:Priorities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006897)

Yes - especially since one country can do only one thing at a time.

Re:Priorities! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007581)

Yes - especially since one country can do only one thing at a time.

It costs money. We're sending them a big pile of money to help fix problems they can't afford to fix. And they're spending money on a fanciful dream. This mission isn't going to benefit them in any regard other than public relations. It's a feel-good circle jerk, and if they can find the money in their budget to fund this kind of PR stunt then they can quit asking for handouts. It's not about only being able to do one thing at a time, it's about setting some priorities. Despite all the hand-wringing you see on the news we have plenty of cash in the US to spend on spaceflight, and we're making major technological gains. Many of these gains directly benefit India as they often collaberate with us on those projects. All this mission is about is bragging rights.

Re:Priorities! (1)

damitr (1795258) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006965)

Oh actually, going to Mars is way of getting rid of the traffic problem. As you must be knowing there is no traffic on Mars. That is the brilliant idea. As for the electricity problem, they are planning to construct nuclear power plants on Mars (of course with help from the West) whose surplus will be beamed back to India to take out the regular blackouts. Who knows what else they are up to?

Re:Priorities! (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#41007085)

How about a simpler mission first: get from one side of Delhi to the other without hours in traffic.

Simpler? To get something to Mars, you have to push it really hard. To get roads rerouted or mass transit systems to get set up in a sprawling metropolis, you need to get many people to agree to it, and overcome some people who will really want to oppose it for a multitude of reasons.

Re:Priorities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007147)

Moving a good portion of their population to Mars would be a great idea. It would solve the population pressure in India, and solve the employment problems. And those who are sent to Mars will be automatically employed as a result of all the work required in making Mars a livable planet.

Re:Priorities! (3, Informative)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 2 years ago | (#41007597)

Supposedly 30% of their households don't have electricity and the remainder suffer from regular blackouts, and they want to go to Mars?

Why explore space? [lettersofnote.com]

Granted, this was in 1970 and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center director - but he made many valid points and his letter is also true for India.

I have an idea (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006429)

They could pay for the entire mission by broadcasting on pay-per-view TV a live (well 8 minute delay lol) robot fight on Mars! Battlebots was the shit back in the day. Naturally, they could take it to Mars and make a fortune!

Re:I have an idea (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006795)

If it were in english i'd pay to watch it, other language i'd torrent it later.

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007383)

Yea, but think of all the people who would pirate that. That kind of piracy, with RIAA math, we are talking about over 9000 TRILLION DOLLARS in damages.

Sixth country, Zambia or Congo? (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006447)

I thought Zambia never made it after this 1964 attempt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL5gEpkATTA [youtube.com]

They were regarded as crackpots back then and still are, I guess.

Later, this failed attempt from Congo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR97o_FuX-c [youtube.com]

Rats. Bad luck.

So, who is the sixth country?

Nobody in India would know (1)

mpfife (655916) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006531)

They don't appear to be able to keep the power on long enough for anyone to see it broadcast...

Customary affordability comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006615)

"India cannot afford to feed its poor! India has not infrastructure! Fix that first! Mars can wait!"

6th? (5, Informative)

guttentag (313541) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006647)

As far as I can tell, there are only two countries, plus the European Space Agency, that have achieved Mars orbit (by launch year):
  1. United States 1964
  2. United States 1969
  3. Soviet Union 1973
  4. United States 1975
  5. United States 1996
  6. ESA 2003
  7. United States 2003
  8. United States 2005
  9. United States 2007
  10. United States 2011

And there are only two countries that have successfully landed on Mars (by landing year):

  1. Soviet Union 1971
  2. United States 1976
  3. United States 1997
  4. United States 2003
  5. United States 2008
  6. United States 2012

Japan launched a probe, but it failed to achieve orbit (it "missed the planet") and China had a joint venture with Russia that never left Earth's orbit. Wikipedia has a nice graphic [wikimedia.org] illustrating the history of Mars exploration.

Re:6th? (4, Funny)

guttentag (313541) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006775)

Sorry, somehow I thought they were talking about successful launches. In that case, you've got (1) US, (2) USSR, (3) ESA, (4) Russia, (5) China, and (6) My Little Brother, who tried to launch himself to Mars by jumping high enough on his bed. I classified it a failure when he hit his head on the ceiling and passed out, but if the criteria is "launches," then he absolutely has to be on the list, which would make India lucky number 7. Good luck India, and if I may humbly suggest, pillows duct taped to the ceiling will save you lots of headaches in the event that you do not achieve escape velocity.

Re:6th? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006981)

Well if he manages to achieve escape velocity or anything near it and then hits the ceiling, pillows are not going to help much at all.

Still good luck to him in his space ventures. We need a bit of enthusiasm whether it comes with practicality or not.

Re:6th? (1)

Yoda222 (943886) | more than 2 years ago | (#41007305)

But ESA is not a country. So India is the 25th country to attemp a mars mission. (I didn't count european union countries not part of the ESA, and if the mars mission are not in the mandatory program, if not I should probably remove the country not participating in those missions)

Re:6th? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007553)

The Prime Minister wears a turban. I don't think he'll need pillows

Why so hard? (1)

dark grep (766587) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006865)

I don't know why it would be so difficult to put a spacecraft in orbit around Mars, or land on the place. I mean, it's not rocket science... hey, wait a minute...

Laughable Out Loud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41006673)

Without a stable electricity grid to power the butt-zillion Indian netbooks Microsoft Office applications there will be no Mars mission in even 3013.

Idiots.

I'm waiting for... (1)

Circlotron (764156) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006717)

...North Korea to announce a Mars mission. They have a good track record for space stuff so far. :raises eyebrows and nods head:

Orbit? (1)

Sussurros (2457406) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006849)

How about India putting a person into Earth orbit first. It's not so easy.

Re:Orbit? (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | more than 2 years ago | (#41007005)

Let's leave to the space trolls the question of whether India should be launching anything besides weather and GPS satellites. But it's orders of magnitude easier to put inanimate objects into space. So if India has ambitions beyond Earth orbit, Mars is as good a target practice as any. From a purely economic point of view, Mars is as useless a piece of rock as the Moon.

Re:Orbit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007615)

Let's leave to the space trolls the question of whether India should be launching anything besides weather and GPS satellites. But it's orders of magnitude easier to put inanimate objects into space. So if India has ambitions beyond Earth orbit, Mars is as good a target practice as any. From a purely economic point of view, Mars is as useless a piece of rock as the Moon.

The point is that we're sending India a shitload of money for humanitarian aid. If they weren't funding this pipe dream that's $90 million dollars we didn't have to send them. Once they can support themselves without taking handouts then I'm fine with them blowing their cash on whatever program they want.

And this just in.... (0)

erp_consultant (2614861) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006873)

The Indian government has also announced that their astronauts will work for 1/4 the salary of an American astronaut. They will also sleep 9 to a capsule instead of the customary 3. Americans will coordinate the mission and handle the tactical details which will be sent off-shore (and I mean really off-shore) to their Indian counterparts in space. The Americans are expecting numerous mistakes and misunderstandings but, hey, they work cheap and we can always clean it up after the fact. Mission management is thrilled at the cost savings and predicts a tremendous success. Veteran American astronauts are quietly preparing the rescue capsule secure in the knowledge that the so called cost savings are folly at best. But for now the bean counters are gleefully exchanging high 5's at mission control.

I hope they succeed (-1, Flamebait)

zbobet2012 (1025836) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006945)

All the racist bullshit aside, this would be a great step for mankind. Yes its something the US should be doing, but if we don't have the balls and someone else does that great.

Re:I hope they succeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007647)

All the racist bullshit aside, this would be a great step for mankind. Yes its something the US should be doing, but if we don't have the balls and someone else does that great.

Uh, you might want to check the news. We kind of just fucking did this already, and didn't have to use an unproven and so far unworking Russian craft to get there.

Timing of the announcement (5, Informative)

v1x (528604) | more than 2 years ago | (#41006949)

Well, the Indian economy has slowed down considerably, investor confidence is down, and years later, many of the problems noted in the posts above still remain to be solved. While this mission had been previously reported in other sources, the linked article was published on August 15--Indian Independence day--so the official announcement by the PM sounds more like the kind of feel-good pitch that one can expect in any 'address to the nation,' in most places in the world. The Chandrayaan [wikipedia.org] mission was similarly announced 9 years ago during an independence day speech by a former PM, and completed 5 years later, although the costs ($90 million) were substantially higher than initially announced. Given that track record, it seems highly unlikely that this project can be pulled off in $100 million, although I suppose like any government initiative, the project probably has a better chance of getting funded if the scientists asked for that amount than what it might actually take (say, 10 times as much?), and then ask for more later! :-) At the end of the day, any kind of government investing in science is a good thing, and the recent Mars Curiosity landing is more evidence that a space mission captures people's imaginations like nothing else. Hopefully, this mission will have that kind of effect on the next generation of students in India.

Spend money in infrastructure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007007)

Dear India

Please spend more money building road, power plants, water, sewers and school before you spend all that
money going to Mars

Sincerely

What? (1, Flamebait)

ApplePy (2703131) | more than 2 years ago | (#41007143)

No call center jokes yet? I'm disappointed.

I believe India is spending too much money. For the paltry sum of $50 million, I'll launch an unmanned probe in the general direction of Mars. That's half price!

Are we focusing too much on Mars? (3, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#41007191)

Serious question, why does it seem that Mars is the only planet we're interested in? According to this wiki page [wikipedia.org] , there have been numerous flybys, probes, and landings on mars, as well as two rovers. There have also been explorations of venus, though no rovers due to the heat, just two soviet landers. There have been flybys of Jupiter and explorations of jovian moons.

Saturn though, there have only been four flybys. Neptune and Uranus were only observed up close by Voyager 2. And there is a flyby planned for Pluto.
Why isn't there more interest in the further planets? Is it simply that it will take longer? Seems like the sheer number of explorations of Mars would make some of the further targets more interesting.

Re:Are we focusing too much on Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007477)

What are you expecting to find on those planets? The majority of actual scientists studying these planets are interested in the origin of life. All of the cool technology and stuff is side effects used to get value for the public. The actual scientists are interested in the origin of life. Mars may have had life on it in the past. If not, it may have at least been partially habitable. Maybe the process of life started, but it wasn't able to finish. Solving the mysteries of the origin of life and finding it elsewhere is the real reason we do this kind of science. Everything else is gravy. The gravy is good, because the general public doesn't directly care about the origin of life. If I told the general public that I spent half a million dollars of their money trying to figure out the origin of life (true story by the way), they would think I wasted their money. So I have to tell them about all the possible side effects of my research, because the real reason isn't good enough for their little brains.

Re:Are we focusing too much on Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007515)

1) because mars is closer (except for venus, which is too hot)
2) Because mars has resources on it that can be harvested eventually. Because its the closest.. The other places are simply too far away. It's like canooing either across the british canal, or across the pacific.

Re:Are we focusing too much on Mars? (3, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#41007641)

It gets harder the further out you go. Less sunlight, less efficient solar power leading to use of nuclear isotopic power supplies. IIRC only the US and USSR have used nuc thermal supplies in space - although India does have an active nuclear energy research program and nucular weapons. Harder communications - India doesn't have world wide tracking systems.

India doesn't seem to have a clear path to space. Seems like their missions are scatter shot - one moon, then Mars, then whatever. Who knows what internal politics are going on? Mars also offers the chance to piggy back on US / ESO communication links although I have not heard they plan on doing that.

Besides, Mars is cool. Although in general, I agree. I'd love to see many more Jovian moon missions.

Is this coming out of the food budget? (0)

Delosian (1443777) | more than 2 years ago | (#41007297)

India is a country that receives billions of dollars per year from countries around the world to feed its people and yet the Indian government thinks they can find US$75 million to send a probe to Mars?!

good news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41007561)

my roomate's mother got paid $18404 last month. she has been working on the laptop and got a $310000 home. All she did was get fortunate and put in action the guide leaked on this web site http://q.gs/1dwsz

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