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India Plans Its Own Moon Shot

timothy posted about 12 years ago | from the save-me-some-cheese dept.

Space 493

anzha writes: "CNN is reporting that India is planning an unmanned mission to Luna in 2007. The US, Russia (when it was the USSR), and Japan are the only nations to have done so, or so they say. For some reason, I thought that ESA, the European Space Agency, had sent one also. At any rate, while I'd like to see the Stars and Stripes posted all over the galaxy, more competition is better! So, all I have to say is, 'Go, India! Go!'" I wonder if China is still on track for 2005.

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Well... (3, Interesting)

Pxtl (151020) | about 12 years ago | (#4063980)

I guess its better then nuclear escalation with Pakistan... notice how they seem to be mirroring the US-USSR cold war?

Re:Well... (3, Informative)

Skyshadow (508) | about 12 years ago | (#4063989)

Pakistan doesn't have a space program worth mentioning. This is more a competition with China.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064050)

Wasn't the same true of the Indian nuclear program at one point?

Re:Well... (2)

Telastyn (206146) | about 12 years ago | (#4064055)

Odd how rockets that can get a man to the moon are easily suitable to get a man sized nuclear bomb a few hundred miles down the road...

Re:Well... (5, Informative)

crawling_chaos (23007) | about 12 years ago | (#4064288)

Actually, they aren't. Neither the U.S. nor the Russians used their manned moon rockets as ICBMs. It's massive overkill. Bombs don't weight as much as manned capsules do.

Even satellite launch systems don't usually make very good ICBMs, since the satellite rockets tend to use cheaper liquid fuels, while the ICBMs use more expensive solids. This allows the ICBMs to be on call more often, since you don't have to periodically de-tank the fuel. The Russians may still have a liquid-fueled ICBM, but we got rid of ours after we developed Minuteman.

The ICBM designs we've used in the manned space program:

  • Redstone: (not really an ICBM, but still a military rocket.) Sub-orbital Mercury missions.
  • Atlas: Mercury orbital missions, umanned launch of the Agena target vehicles for Gemini.
  • Titan II: Gemini.
That's it, and each of these began as missiles and turned into launchers, not vice-versa. We've never turned a Saturn or a Shuttle into an ICBM. Nor have we used their engines or other structures in ICBM designs. I think the early shuttle designs used modified Minuteman IIs for the SRBs, but that was discarded in favor of a partially reusable design. Not much need to re-use an ICBM, if it works.

Re:Well... (2)

JWW (79176) | about 12 years ago | (#4064296)

A Saturn V would be immense overkill if it were used as an ICBM.

Rockets to take a MAN to the moon, note they're talking unmanned here, are much more complex.

Re:Well... (2)

SanLouBlues (245548) | about 12 years ago | (#4064208)

It's not actually a cold war. They actively fight daily in the Kashmir region making the war very hot indeed.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064248)

True, but the similarities are there. Both nations have nuclear capabilities, and they have their crosshairs set on each other so it's a stalemate.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064227)

Ok isn't part of the space race to demonstrate that they have the rocket tech to land anywhere on earth? So you have to take their nuclear power seriously.

They will finally find out!!! (2, Funny)

Kushy (225928) | about 12 years ago | (#4063987)

Now they will know for sure the moon isn't made of curry!

Another cold-war race... (1)

deego (587575) | about 12 years ago | (#4063988)

heh, we first had the US vs USSR race to the moon..
now it will be india vs. china...

Re:Another cold-war race... (4, Funny)

N3WBI3 (595976) | about 12 years ago | (#4064206)

Those Kids(China/India), when we went to the moon do you know what we would have given for a 386, hell a TI graphing calculator was a dream. You and your 'were going to the moon', We went uphill both ways..

Scary. (0, Insightful)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | about 12 years ago | (#4063991)

When I read the headline my first thought was that they planned on nuking the moon.

Re:Scary. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064022)

This probably the goal. to send projectiles from the moon careening towrd the Earth.

Re:Scary. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064026)

i don;t even think were capabale of such things as this.

ERROR Your host is trying to (re)connect too fast -- throttled.

Cheese (1)

rbohac (534934) | about 12 years ago | (#4064284)

It would probably make for some killer nachos

Wow... (2, Funny)

Meefan (526525) | about 12 years ago | (#4063994)

I'm surprised they didn't do it sooner. After all, it's incredibly rewarding for a nation to land on the moon. Look at all we got out of it. Like, ehh... That is to say, we obviously have the advantage of ... The benefits to us are... umm... Clearly, you could say that we...

Wait, no, we didn't get squat. Darn!

Re:Wow... (1, Funny)

psi-kat (584526) | about 12 years ago | (#4064043)

what about moon rocks?? I mean, they're very similar to normal earth rocks, only they're...moon rocks!

Re:Wow... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064071)

The benefits to us are... umm... Clearly, you could say that we...

Wait, no, we didn't get squat. Darn!


Sure we did. We're number one! We're number one! We're number one! GO USA!!! First nation to land humans on another celestial body. That's a fucking AMAZING accomplishment. GO USA! GO USA! GO USA!

Re:Wow... (2, Insightful)

perfects (598301) | about 12 years ago | (#4064119)

> Wait, no, we didn't get squat. Darn!

No?

Space program --> miniaturized electronics --> personal computers --> your ability to post drivel like that.

I'm not saying that without the space program/race/etc. of the 60's we would never invent things like personal computers and the internet, but it gave modern technology a huge boost. Without the space program I suspect that right about now we'd be looking forward to the next generation of 300-baud modems.

I applaud India's plans to invest in its future!

beny fits (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about 12 years ago | (#4064239)

I'm not saying that without the space program/race/etc. of the 60's we would never invent things like personal computers and the internet, but it gave modern technology a huge boost. Without the space program I suspect that right about now we'd be looking forward to the next generation of 300-baud modems.

I have heard too many debates on this go back and forth.

It seems that the bottom line is that nobody knows for sure what the benefits were because we have no "with" and "without" to compare side-by-side.

Yes, they did pump money into silicone chips, but just how much did that make a difference? A two-year differences? 6-months? Decade?

Nobody really knows. What if the moon money was pumped *directly* into technology research instead?

Perhaps we would have better chips because we would not have wasted it all at the dentist for drinking too much Tang.

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064254)

India could invest in its future in a lot of better ways, for instance dealing with poverty, hunger, corruption, etc etc

I'm Indian (I grew up in the US though) and the fact that the Indian government would waste money on something like this makes me really sad. . its things like this that convince me that India WILL NOT EVER leave the status of a developing country. India's problem is that it is so polarized that the rich get to enjoy the benefits of a country with a lot of technological capability, internet, cellphones, etc etc, as they walk through streets filled with whole families living in their own filth. India is made of two different factions that don't seem to know that the other one exists. Until those people that do have the power and the money in their hands realize that a space program will do nothing to raise the standard of living and hence do nothing to raise the rest of the world's opinion of india, India will remain a third world country.

Re:Wow... (2)

Wavicle (181176) | about 12 years ago | (#4064151)

So the entire space program of the 1960's resulted in no significant technological advances that have found their way down to the consumer and benefitted them?

Are you *sure* ?

Re:Wow... (1)

lbonser (591757) | about 12 years ago | (#4064243)

We (the US) got a lot out of landing on the moon. Not to mention the purely scientific implications, there were many technological advances that became common-place because of their development in support of the US moon missions. Transistorized electronics, computer software, telecommunications, food science, materials science, battery and fuel cell technology, medicine (particularly body monitoring and telemetry) and many others advanced tremendously because of the Apollo program. Just one minor example: zip lock plastic bags!

Re:Wow... (2)

Bill Currie (487) | about 12 years ago | (#4064307)

While I agree with others that "we didn't get squat" isn't accurate, there's a darn good reason "we" (I'm Canadian, but the whole world would have benefitted in the long run) didn't get as much as we could have out of going to the moon: only 12 people stepped foot on the moon; 30 years ago; nobody's touched it since.

Think of the deep space observatory that could be run on the far side of the moon, shielded from Earth's radio noise. Think of the oxygen and aluminum (and possibly water due to either possible water supplies on Luna or reacting the extracted oxygen with hydrogen from the sun (assuming enough H can be collected from the solar wind)) that could have been mined for supplying the space station with at a much reduced (long term). Think of the deep space probes that could have been launched from Luna at a much reduced cost again (shallower gravity well, further out Earth's well, and possibly with a slingshot boost due to Luna's orbit).

The possibilities don't stop there, just my train of thought :) I really do wonder where we would have been now if Luna had been `colonized' back in the 70's or 80's (maybe 90's due to more tech advances being needed).

Yum! (1)

mhore (582354) | about 12 years ago | (#4063996)

Indian food in space and on the moon. Yum!

Freeze-dried samosas and pakoras. Yum!

Those people are going to have it MADE.

Mike.

u. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064002)

I'd like to see the Stars and Stripes posted all over the galaxy

Why? Are you proud of things like the DMCA?

Boo-hoo (2)

Mulletproof (513805) | about 12 years ago | (#4064185)

I guess it's better than the rampade poverty India faces, but hey, gotta find something to rag on the US about, right?

India Announces First Lunar 7-11 (0, Offtopic)

egg troll (515396) | about 12 years ago | (#4064004)

Perhaps they're going there to open up a 7-11?!

Re:India Announces First Lunar 7-11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064056)

Thank You, Come Again!

fp? (0)

prester (176898) | about 12 years ago | (#4064006)

it had to be said. Seriously though, this is pretty neat stuff, IMO. India is an odd position - in a lot of ways they're first world (large democracy, good-when-present educational system, has nukes). At the same time they have horrible poverty, overpopulation, and religious strife. A moon mission is great. A good AIDs/population growth program would be too.

Re:fp? (1)

Hormonal (304038) | about 12 years ago | (#4064044)

A good AIDs/population growth program would be too

It seems that those two programs would kind of cancel each other out. Looks like India's on the right track there...

Morale, motivation Re:fp? (2)

StefanJ (88986) | about 12 years ago | (#4064182)

"Without vision, the people perish."

I don't buy the assumption that big projects are somehow mutually exclusive; that launching a space probe somehow directly steals food from the mouth of an orphan.

It suggests, firstly, that the government is responsible for every facet of human existence. Perhaps this might be the case in a fairy-tale centrally planned economy where there's some giant spreadsheet with line items for every penny spent.

It also suggests that the great problems could be fought simply by ponying up a bit more cash. The reason poverty, strife, and AIDS are so tough to fight--particularly in a ethnically divisive, caste-ridden society like India--is that they are problems rooted in human nature; in ignorance, wishful thinking, prejudice, greed and so on. The logistical problems involved in, say, producing and distributing a billion condom, is nothing compared to the challenge of getting guys to use them. Or getting a mom to bring in her kid for a free vaccination when damn he sure cried like the dickens last time he got a shot.

Symbolic achievements like moon shots might concievably help by giving people something to feel proud about and a standard to live up to.

Or it could be a stunt to get some pol reelected.

Stefan "Neoliberal? Damn straight!" Jones

Coming soon... (1)

kitzilla (266382) | about 12 years ago | (#4064009)

...the great India/Pakistan space race. Which Second World nation will get a man on the moon second? Only Allah/Vishnu knows!

why did I read... (1)

Phosphor3k (542747) | about 12 years ago | (#4064018)

Moon Shot as Poop Shoot? Must be hanging out with Cowboy Neal too much...

Re:why did I read... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064149)

Or fuckin watching too much of that Jay and Silent Bob shit mother fucker.

Interesting... (1)

RedElf (249078) | about 12 years ago | (#4064024)

but wouldn't be of more value for us to work on acheiving some larger, rather then fighting with each other?

Quick-E Mart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064025)

They need to put one up there for future visitors.

China going for it in 2010 wasn't it? (1)

Foozy (552529) | about 12 years ago | (#4064028)

And something about 'harvesting minerals for the benefit of all mankind'.
Personally, I hope they set up the first take-out on the moon.

riiight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064030)

lets just shoot at it. things pisses me off

just trying to "curry" favor (1)

sapped (208174) | about 12 years ago | (#4064033)

Personally, I think India is just trying to "curry" [dictionary.com] favour with the more developed nations.

--

Employing incompetence: $35/h
Fixing the resulting mistakes: $1000's
Employing me: Priceless [geocities.com]

Re:just trying to "curry" favor (2)

grendelkhan (168481) | about 12 years ago | (#4064183)

Boo Hiss.

You're just trying to get a rice out of someone.

Re:just trying to "curry" favor (2)

realgone (147744) | about 12 years ago | (#4064211)

Okay. That's enough nan-sense from the two of you.

starts and stripes (5, Insightful)

zoward (188110) | about 12 years ago | (#4064040)

"...while I'd like to see the Stars and Stripes posted all over the galaxy,..."

Ya know, I never understood this. It seems to me the the "space race" should be humankind against itself, not each country against the other. Speaking as both a citizen of both the US and the world, If India or China or anyone else reaches Mars before the US, I'll be damn proud that my race made it to Mars.

Re:starts and stripes (2)

unicron (20286) | about 12 years ago | (#4064097)

I think it's important to note that most nations would not do a Mars trip because they were altruistic, but because they know it would be a mighty display of technological, and yes military power. Especially India. If they do it, it will be nothing more than a display of military might, plain and simple.

Re:starts and stripes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064099)

Ya know, I never understood this. It seems to me the the "space race" should be humankind against itself, not each country against the other.

Because, left to themselves, humankind would rather sit around with a cold brewski watching Gilligan Island reruns.

Re:starts and stripes (2, Interesting)

tempestdata (457317) | about 12 years ago | (#4064138)

You mean your species. Not trying to be racist. but if India reached mars first, then you'd have to have had an Indian ancestor to claim that. Same thing with Chinese.

You know, you bring up a good point though. Why do humans constantly turn on each other. I think its because we want to feel special, we want to feel like we belong to an elite group (yes geeks are just an example of that). I feel, that when we finally make contact with an advanced alien race, we will drop this behaviour. We will have a group to belong to thats diffeent.. humans as opposed to White/Black/Brown/Orange/Pink/etc. , Earthlings instead of American/Indian/Irani/British.

I'm willing to bet that if we develop a colony on mars. we will eventually have some kind of (perhaps subtle) hostility towards the martians. We'll wanna do better than the martians, or the martians will wanna do better than the Earthlings. The Martians will feel patriotic towards their planet as opposed to Earth. Its so much in our nature to be that way.

Re:starts and stripes (1)

BitHive (578094) | about 12 years ago | (#4064232)

You should read the Rama series by Arthur C. Clarke. They tackle these issues, and come to the unfortunate conclusion that humans will always be selfish xenophobes. We've plenty of evidence, and sadly, the idea that first contact will alter everyone (especially the powerful) is naive.

PR move? (1, Flamebait)

Gizzmonic (412910) | about 12 years ago | (#4064041)

No need to feed our hordes of starving people. Instead, let's spend billions going where others have boldly gone...35 years ago!

Re:PR move? (0, Troll)

tempestdata (457317) | about 12 years ago | (#4064165)

Get your facts straight dude. India is a poor nation, but its had a food surplus for many years now. India is a net EXPORTER of food, and actually disposes of thousands of gallons of milk that it has no use for but produces.

USA has to get there first! (5, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | about 12 years ago | (#4064045)

and set up all the props from our 'Historic Moon Landing'!

*Whew* that was close!

Re:USA has to get there first! (3, Funny)

T3kno (51315) | about 12 years ago | (#4064077)

"This is the same model the astronauts used when they faked the Apollo moon landing. Yeah they broadcast around the earth from a sound stage in San Bernadino California, it worked for them so it shouldn't give us too many problems."

"Cattle mutilations are up."

Re:USA has to get there first! (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about 12 years ago | (#4064299)

and set up all the props from our 'Historic Moon Landing'! *Whew* that was close!

Not to worry, it looks like the 1969 secret prop companies now have a new market.

If it's anything like Indian IT work... (-1, Flamebait)

NineNine (235196) | about 12 years ago | (#4064048)

...it'll be cheaply(ie: shittily) done, stuck together with bandaids and gum, and done by a lot of people who say they know a hell of a lot more than they really do.

Kick *ASS* (5, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | about 12 years ago | (#4064053)

If we're not going back the moon, at least somebody is.

Granted, the real motivation is to demonstrate to Pakistan and China that they have missi^H^H^H^H^H launch vehicles capable of reaching escape velocity, and thus, any targe^H^H^H^H^Hlocation on the planet.

But that said - it was precisely the same showboating against the Soviets that got us to the moon.

And if the same showboating can get either India or China (or both!) to the moon, maybe they'll be able to send a few scientists along for the ride. It's Space Race, Mk. II!

I'm not naive enough to believe that this will result in a permanent manned lunar base, or any long-term exploration of the lunar surface and subsurface, but I'm at least optimistic that we [humanity] will be able to piggyback a few scientists along for the ride, and learn a few things that we couldn't easily learn with robotic missions.

It's depressing that we're still at the stage where a guy with a pick and shovel can accomplish more in five minutes on the moon's surface than any probe NASA is likely to launch in the next 50 years.

Re:Kick *ASS* (5, Funny)

donutello (88309) | about 12 years ago | (#4064131)

Granted, the real motivation is to demonstrate to Pakistan and China that they have missi^H^H^H^H^H launch vehicles capable of reaching escape velocity, and thus, any targe^H^H^H^H^Hlocation on the planet.

India already has demonstrated the capability [isro.org] to launch polar and geostationary satellites. That's pretty much all you need (apart from the guidance system) to do what you are suggesting - unless you want to attack Pakistans moon base.

Re:Kick *ASS* (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064246)

mini-ghandi, stop humping the "laser"

Yeah, that's the ticket... (1)

Shamanin (561998) | about 12 years ago | (#4064059)

we're launching this missle, I mean rocket, to go to the... oh yeah, moon!

Why?? (3, Interesting)

Feelgood (59095) | about 12 years ago | (#4064064)

IANAI (I am not an Indian), but I'm going to have to agree that I just don't seem the point. The article claims it may foster more national pride and whatnot, but surely that $82.5 million could foster national pride by going more directly to the citizens. Granted it would amount to, what, 80 cents per person, but can't there be something done with that? Can't they show scientific and intellectual prowess by doing something that hasn't already been done and/or would directly benefit people?

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan
- This was the quote at the bottom of the page when I read the comments. Heh.

Re:Why?? (1)

Kobal (597997) | about 12 years ago | (#4064117)

Like? Launching their warheads onto Redmond?

Re:Why?? (2)

evilned (146392) | about 12 years ago | (#4064223)

The best reasoning is a combination of two things. If you can fire something to the moon, you can definately hit any place on earth. It extends your sphere of infulence much futher than just the Indian subcontinent. Also you have a country that has little to draw it together. Most regions historically were not ruled by the same ruler until the british showed up, so anything to foster nationalism of any kind helps the Indian governments goals.

Re:Why?? (1)

Proaxiom (544639) | about 12 years ago | (#4064290)

Actually 8 cents per person. There are approximately 1 billion people in India.

Personally, I'd have no problem pitching in 8 cents if my country wanted to send a craft to the moon.

Conflicting News (1)

Tall Rob Mc (579885) | about 12 years ago | (#4064066)

Every time I read a news story about India, my opinion of the country changes.

I read about the situation in Kashmir and I think "man, they really need to get their shit together."

A week later I read that they're planning a moon shot and I think "well, they seem to be on a modern track."

Hopefully, with time and peace I'll be reading more of the latter than of the former.

ESA isn't a country (2, Informative)

tempestdata (457317) | about 12 years ago | (#4064068)

I'm not sure if the ESA did send a probe to the moon, but even if they had, the space agency has many member countries.

I'm very happy to hear that India is willing to push itself to new heights. If there is any country that would want to colonize the moon (or mars), Its India. (well, china too). There you go. There's the space race..

I thought the US owned the moon (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064069)

Didn't the US get there first, plant a flag, claimed it for her king? Will the US shoot trespassers on sight?

Let's see something DONE out there (5, Insightful)

Coffee Warlord (266564) | about 12 years ago | (#4064073)


Going to the moon is pretty much BFD these days, regardless of *who* does it.

What I want to see is a nation or a group of nations going to the moon for the purpose of DOING something. Not just collecting rocks or whatever the hell is usually done. Beginning mining operations, perhaps? Setting up a permanent lunar base? Off-world factories? ANYTHING!

I'd like to think we're beyond popping the hatch and poking our heads out the door, then flying back, or at least should be working that way.

We Missed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064075)

Umm Yea..

Shooting for the "Moon".. thats why we are building this nuclea.. err.. rocket.. unmanned mission to the moon.. right.. those launching facilities.. really.. goin to the moon..

Cant wait till pakistan is gone and india's celebrating its "moon landing"

This sounds good, but... (1)

Sheetrock (152993) | about 12 years ago | (#4064076)

I'm a bit worried that with all this attention being paid to the Moon by other countries they might start to get the idea that they should be able to own a bit of it. One thing that most people don't realize is that the American flag placed on the Moon was more than purely symbolic; under U.S. law, they were actually staking a claim on the land for America. That's one of the reasons the commercial interest in fully exploiting the Moon's potential as a tourist site is based in our country -- corporations realize that our government is going to have the final say over whether or not businesses will exist on the Moon at all. There's even something in the U.S. Code to this effect.

So now... (1)

corwinss (523546) | about 12 years ago | (#4064080)

Let's get the UN together and form an "Interplanetary Park Service." Then instead of simply sending a probe to the moon, we could send a manned mission to "Luna Interplanetary Park." Please don't take home any moon rocks - and no eating green cheese, either.

On a more serious note, though, I think that this is a good idea. Sometime in the future I'm sure we'll be figuring out how to colonize the moon (maybe not cause we have to, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who want to). Also, when countries spend more time and money on space programs and less on nuclear ones, that's always a good thing.

I'm longing for the day... (3, Funny)

Kobal (597997) | about 12 years ago | (#4064084)

...when Belgium sends a manned mission to Venus. So long, Dirk!

Not so fast ... (2)

El_Smack (267329) | about 12 years ago | (#4064086)

India's moon shot will never beat this [metropoliglobal.com] one. It's an advertising flyer from a 1981 video game called "Moon War".

Someone might want to warn the Indians... (2)

teamhasnoi (554944) | about 12 years ago | (#4064091)


that NASA is going to sue all the moon rocks they bring back.

How about feeding some people instead? (1)

JudgeFurious (455868) | about 12 years ago | (#4064092)

I mean, come on this isn't some nation that's sitting fat on it's ass with more post 1950's clout and luxury than it needs looking for something to challenge it. This is a country that has serious problems regarding poverty and overpopulation. Going to the moon would be a wasteful stunt by a country that can't afford to waste anything.

the moon? why? (1)

Ryokos_boytoy (259245) | about 12 years ago | (#4064109)

look, we proved it wasn't made of cheese. and unless they are sending mining robots, there's not a lot to see there. doing this for national pride seems a strange thing to do. they should pitch in and send up some parts for the space station. the plus side is you learn from every shot. also, how long before there is so much orbital debris [aero.org] that sending a ship into orbit is certain doom? more players in the space race means that near-space environmentalism maybe the new cause for students to cry about. just a thought

Sorry Folks, It HAD To Be Posted... (3, Funny)

goldspider (445116) | about 12 years ago | (#4064111)

Hopefully the moderators will find the appropriate-ness of this classic (propz to the original author):

The "Moon": A Ridiculous Liberal Myth

It amazes me that so many allegedly "educated" people have fallen so quickly and so hard for a fraudulent fabrication of such laughable proportions. The very idea that a gigantic ball of rock happens to orbit our planet, showing itself in neat, four-week cycles -- with the same side facing us all the time -- is ludicrous. Furthermore, it is an insult to common sense and a damnable affront to intellectual honesty and integrity. That people actually believe it is evidence that the liberals have wrested the last vestiges of control of our public school system from decent, God-fearing Americans (as if any further evidence was needed! Daddy's Roommate? God Almighty!)

Documentaries such as Enemy of the State have accurately portrayed the elaborate, byzantine network of surveillance satellites that the liberals have sent into space to spy on law-abiding Americans. Equipped with technology developed by Handgun Control, Inc., these satellites have the ability to detect firearms from hundreds of kilometers up. That's right, neighbors .. the next time you're out in the backyard exercising your Second Amendment rights, the liberals will see it! These satellites are sensitive enough to tell the difference between a Colt .45 and a .38 Special! And when they detect you with a firearm, their computers cross-reference the address to figure out your name, and then an enormous database housed at Berkeley is updated with information about you.

Of course, this all works fine during the day, but what about at night? Even the liberals can't control the rotation of the Earth to prevent nightfall from setting in (only Joshua was able to ask for that particular favor!) That's where the "moon" comes in. Powered by nuclear reactors, the "moon" is nothing more than an enormous balloon, emitting trillions of candlepower of gun-revealing light. Piloted by key members of the liberal community, the "moon" is strategically moved across the country, pointing out those who dare to make use of their God-given rights at night!

Yes, I know this probably sounds paranoid and preposterous, but consider this. Despite what the revisionist historians tell you, there is no mention of the "moon" anywhere in literature or historical documents -- anywhere -- before 1950. That is when it was initially launched. When President Josef Kennedy, at the State of the Union address, proclaimed "We choose to go to the moon", he may as well have said "We choose to go to the weather balloon." The subsequent faking of a "moon" landing on national TV was the first step in a long history of the erosion of our constitutional rights by leftists in this country. No longer can we hide from our government when the sun goes down.

Re:Sorry Folks, It HAD To Be Posted... (1)

budalite (454527) | about 12 years ago | (#4064169)

Heck, even chicken little looked up when the rock hit her on the head...

Re:Sorry Folks, It HAD To Be Posted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064190)

"Hopefully the moderators will find the appropriate-ness of this classic"

Again, I'm proven wrong. Comon, people, where's your sense of humor??

My experiences in India (-1, Troll)

Ryu2 (89645) | about 12 years ago | (#4064114)

I'm an American businessman in the import- export business, so as you might guess, my frequent travels take me to many places around the world, on every continent.
I wanted to share my experience in the "great" country of India.

So, I was in Bangalore, India last March for about a week on business. A bit of background: Bangalore is a special technology development area that the Indian government set up to try and give foreigners the illusion that India really ISN'T a moldering third world country with its populace living in utterly squalid, filthy slums. Here, rules are relaxed and IT and other technology is encouraged. Well, let me tell you this, if this is India's best, then I'd hate to see the worst.

Anyways, when I stepped off the plane from Delhi (which was no paradise itself, as that place has gone down the shitter since the Brits left) I was shocked. The whole place smelled like a combination of vomit, death and cow dung that had been left out in the sun for a day or so. And it was probably BECAUSE there was vomit and cow dung all over, with many people seemingly near death (or are they dead already) lying in agony in the streets from God knows what. Kids were playing in filthy pools, throwing shit around. I almost retched, and I've certainly been in some sketchy places in my travels but NOTHING like this.

People spit everywhere. Trash litters the streets. I found myself looking DOWNWARD much more than looking FORWARD when I walked.

Noise pollution is endemic. It doesn't help that their infernal language consists of gibberish that is a cacophony for any human ear to bear. How do they speak and listen to that shit without going crazy all day long is beyond me.

Anyways, Indians stink -- literally. There is no concept of personal hygiene whatsoever. Meetings with even top officials were hourlong sessions of having to endure hot sweaty bodies and rancid breath eminating from mouths missing a few teeth. Geez, at least use deodorant for crying out loud. And you guys might want to re-think that cow-worship thing -- they aren't exactly the cleanest of animals to be keeping around, and sharing living spaces with humanity.

The hypocrisy, corruption, and double-standards from the highest levels of government on over are the norm at the same time India opens up to the world as a purported source for "cheap" IT and other "skilled labor". Foreigners get charged as much as five times for transportation, lodging, food, and everything else.

Traffic is horrible. Rules are non-existent except for at traffic lights: red means to go fast, green means to go REALLY REALLY fast.

The Indian people themselve are pretty apathetic and everyone just wants to get out of that hell hole, so you see smuggling rings shipping people out hidden in truck beds and ships, all too often with tragic results.

The whole country, in my assessment is a lost case. Even the cheap IT services that everyone talks about can be found in Eastern Europe or Asia, where at least the country and its people don't experience stuff like plague and cholera as a day to day way of life.

Anyways, the one redeeming quality were the girls. I was having dinner (how can anyone eat that curry shit for all their lives, is way beyond me) with a young female business associate, and afterwards, we had a few drinks. One thing lead to another and I paid 1500 rupees (about $30 US) for a great fuck, with a bright 25 year old programmer. Boy, those Indian girls sure can get it on -- almost as good as the CHinese. Much better than even the vaunted Thai whores, and worlds apart from anything in Las Vegas or in Europe.

So yeah, screw the hell hole that's India. It's a lost cause of a country suspsended by a hollow facade of so-called IT development that's just show more than anything.

Re:My experiences in India (1)

Kobal (597997) | about 12 years ago | (#4064189)

Wow, now you seem like a real stereotypical ugly American... I thought those only existed in movies. Are you for real?

Re:My experiences in India (1)

haa...jesus christ (576980) | about 12 years ago | (#4064210)

how did i know this would end in prostitution, and a reference to chinese girls?

loser.

Mod this guy off the map!! (1)

death00 (551487) | about 12 years ago | (#4064237)

Check out this article [slashdot.org] . Gee, that looks familiar.

There may be more to this... (1)

grayhaired (314097) | about 12 years ago | (#4064120)

If you wanted to sell satellite launching services to neighboring countries, and you're competing with, say, China and Japan, showing you have an equivalent launching technology to the big guys would have significant public relations value.

Cost/Benefit Analysis (1)

death00 (551487) | about 12 years ago | (#4064121)

Apparently the Indian government made a mistake in their CBA. Negative means lost money, people!

How on Earth (pun intended) can this be justified? While the US/USSR space race gave us lots of new technologies (was the microwave part of that? Tang?), there is nothing to be gained for India by doing the same at this late stage.

This is obviously part of their on-going dance with Pakistan. Kinda makes me hate politics...

Jobs for us now! (1, Troll)

Tablizer (95088) | about 12 years ago | (#4064132)

Does this mean they will be recalling all their H1B's to work on it?

Space Imperialism (0, Offtopic)

dunkerz (443211) | about 12 years ago | (#4064133)

I'd like to see the Stars and Stripes posted all over the galaxy

Well the British will probably colonise it soon enough :)
(Provided Blair is kicked out)

About ESA (5, Informative)

jukal (523582) | about 12 years ago | (#4064134)

> I thought that ESA, the European Space Agency, had sent one also

ESA [esa.int] is just preparing it's first trip to moon, it's project called SMART-1 [esa.int] . It's going to travel to moon, but the key of the project is to test the new propulsion system, which is planned to be used for much longer trips.

Two Words: Moon Slurpie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064141)

Sounds like the first lunar base will be a 7-11 store!!!

Effect on Advertisement (1)

sdjunky (586961) | about 12 years ago | (#4064142)

What will be the Effect on the "power of cheese" advertisements?

This'll kill their "we thought the moon was made of cheese. We've never been back" argument.

Einstein said it best (1)

Hamstaus (586402) | about 12 years ago | (#4064157)

"Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race." One day, when we're tired of killing each other over borders, religion, and Michael Jordan running shoes, maybe we can get it together long enough to realize that accomplishments such as space travel are something that shouldn't be saddled with the burden of a flag.

Re:Einstein said it best (2)

Arcturax (454188) | about 12 years ago | (#4064202)

Yet, it has been shown over and over that even though we are capable of our worst in the name of competition, it is also when we are at our best. Without the space race, we would never had gotten to the moon in the first place, or built the Space Shuttle either, expensive dinosaur that it is.

Why does the myth persist? (2)

EvlG (24576) | about 12 years ago | (#4064168)

Why does the myth that we never landed on the moon persist?

Why do people still refuse to believe that humans have visited other celestial bodies?

Re:Why does the myth persist? (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 12 years ago | (#4064197)

they are simple folks,
the unwashed masses,
hard working people looking for something great to glom onto,
you know, morons.

Re:Why does the myth persist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064199)

Why do you worry about what jackasses and fools believ?

Just to be contrary, I think. (1)

Maniakes (216039) | about 12 years ago | (#4064267)

Why do people still refuse to believe that humans have visited other celestial bodies?

Since they weren't "fooled" by the "fake" moon landings, and we were, that must make them smarter than we are.

Another factor is that people who are generally suspicious/disdainful of the US as a whole, or the federal government specifically, can support their beliefs with the claim that one of the US gov't's high profile acheivements was actually a fraud. I'm not claiming that these people are deliberately lying, just that human nature makes us more likely to believe claims that support our prejudices.

We should... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064200)

We should sell them some of our moon rocks for about half the cost of sending the probe.

Or do they just want to advance their nuclear delivery system enough to nuke us back to Stonehinge?

Lonely Astronaut (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064209)

Now lonely astronaut will have some company.
http://minibytes.mondominishows.com...in .asp?affil =mj

Re:Lonely Astronaut (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4064230)

Opps sorry try THIS link
http://minibytes.mondominishows.com/lonely/m ain.as p?affil=mj

Japan? (1)

Mournblade (72705) | about 12 years ago | (#4064217)

Does anybody have links to more information about the Japanese efforts? I don't recall hearing about them.

Japan? (1)

budalite (454527) | about 12 years ago | (#4064224)

Has Japan actually sent something moonward? Can anyone supply links to information about that? (Beyond info on "Selene") Thanks.

Quick-E mart on the moon (1)

rattler14 (459782) | about 12 years ago | (#4064308)

Apu: thank you, come again
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