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India Brings Back Orbiting Satellite to Earth

timothy posted more than 7 years ago | from the congratulations-on-a-hard-job dept.

Space 210

bharatm writes "In a pathbreaking event heralding its arrival as a space power with capability to recover an orbiting satellite, India today successfully brought back a spacecraft to earth, giving a new impetus to the proposed manned mission to space in the next decade."

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And yet (1, Troll)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709726)

no mention on /. of China's newfound ability to shoot a satellite that is in orbit.

Re:And yet (1)

Scoria (264473) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709766)

Slashdot did mention [slashdot.org] China's recent test of their anti-satellite weapon. However, they referred to it as a laser weapon, which is slightly less than accurate.

Re:And yet (1)

WhatDoIKnow (962719) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709834)

Oh I'm sure there was a laser involved somewhere. Even a drill press can have a laser installed on it now.

:wq

Re:And yet (3, Funny)

RafaelGCPP (922041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709900)

And what about sharks?? That would be evil!

Re:And yet (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709774)

India launches them. China shoots them down. And NASA spends several years and several $billion contracting with Boeing to develop a missle-proof satellite system to be ready "sometime in 2022."

-Eric

Re:And yet (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710044)

India launches them. China shoots them down. And NASA spends several years and several $billion contracting with Boeing to develop a missle-proof satellite system to be ready "sometime in 2022."
Well hey, we have to keep all the scientists in the US busy somehow. Otherwise, they might actually end up building something useful with their time and our money! We definitely wouldn't want that to happen.

You miss something (1)

didiken (93521) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710480)

> India launches them. China shoots them down.

I believe that it should be:

"India launches them. The United States, Russia and China shoot them down. "

Now all they need to do.... (2, Funny)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709728)

Is test an ASAT missile.

(I'm sure that's coming.)

Re:Now all they need to do.... (3, Insightful)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709814)

Is test an ASAT missile.

They just did...in true non-violent style, no less.

Re:Now all they need to do.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710080)

Bringing an enemy's spy satellite onto earth and reverse engineering it would be even better than destroyin it in the orbit. Maybe they could even change the passwords/encryption keys and put it back up as a double agent.

Atlantis thaws,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710234)

India must regain what they have lost [crystalinks.com] before Atlantis returns.

Intended as humor but one never knows [google.com] .

I am racist towards Indians (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709748)

Does that make you cry? Does it Shilpa Shetty [google.com] ?

Let me be the first to say... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709750)

Holy Cow!

Nice... (1)

bjk002 (757977) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710560)

First laugh of the morning... A +1 Funny for you!

Sweet (1, Funny)

mfh (56) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709756)

Now we can have cheap interstellar labour!

Regarding Outsourcing (4, Insightful)

unother (712929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709936)

Ya know, I just had an epiphany on outsourcing to India...

We all know the popular press about issues regarding process, quality, et al. with Indian Outsourcing. However: I recall that once upon a time, Japanese manufacturing was the butt of many a joke until the early 1970s.

Just saying, I would suggest that any smirking in the direction of the Indian Outsourcing phenomenon is a little premature because I imagine it is inevitable that these issues will eventually be worked out.

Epiphany, huh? (2, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710904)

Epiphany, huh? Actually, if you read even popular press, you'll see that countries such as India and China are commonly referred to as "developing" countries. This means that some day soon they are widely expected to be on par with other "developed" countries such as Japan, South Korea, etc. If this sort of thing interests you, pick up the Economist or a similar magazine and you'll get some estimates about when this might occur.

On another tangent, if you go back in time a little further, you'll learn that Japanese manufacturing was considered world-class after their battleships knocked out most of the Russian west fleet around the turn of the century and was continued to be considered so until the Americans came knocking thirty-some years later.

I think you're right about Americans being arrogant, however. There are a lot of other people smarter and harder working than the average American out there, and global trade doesn't care if you think you're superior if someone else can do the same job better for less money.

Re:Sweet (2, Insightful)

SmellTheCoffee (808375) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710330)

Yes...a troll found a perfect moment to troll. Any news on India and there is a always a stereotypical response like cheap labour, not-enough-food-to-eat.
BTW, what you call cheap labour (in terms of U.S or any western currency) is a high enough pay for middle-class Indians. With around 30,000 rupees, average Indian family can live a life equivalent to a life of a average US family with income of around 70K. And that estimate is a conservative one...most engineers I know get paid around 25,000-30,000 rupees right out of college these days.

Re:Sweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710404)

Call center employees, fresh out of school, get 10,000 - 15,000 rupees per MONTH these days. Skilled IT workers and engineers earn 100,000 rs/month and up ... sometimes waaay up. With the rupee currently sitting at 50rs/US$, you do the math.

Re:Sweet (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710802)

Call center employees, fresh out of school, get 10,000 - 15,000 rupees per MONTH these days. Skilled IT workers and engineers earn 100,000 rs/month and up ... sometimes waaay up. With the rupee currently sitting at 50rs/US$, you do the math.

Wow, they pay them in money from the Legend of Zelda [wikipedia.org] ? I thought all the money was in world of warcraft gold farming...

Feed your children India! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709874)

why dont these heartless hindus use some of their engineers to design sanitation systems, water purification plants, food preservation technologies etc? This sorry excuse of a nation has the world's largest concentration of hungry people without access to clean water or toilet facilities. Shame on them!

Re:Feed your children India! (0, Troll)

iceman81 (1042176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710378)

The Same reason why us heartless americans dont provide basic amenities to blacks and the spend more than half of the world's defense expenditure on needless wars. Shame on us too.

Re:Feed your children India! (0, Troll)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710532)

The Same reason why us heartless americans dont provide basic amenities to blacks and the spend more than half of the world's defense expenditure on needless wars. Shame on us too.

The only thing broken about America in this regard, is that some of her citizens are still so racist as to propose that blacks need to have basic amenities provided to them. No Caucasian belief could be more destructive to a black's career aspirations than that.

India, by contrast, still reinforces a caste system that prevents vertical mobility no matter how clever and productive a person is. A black person in America may have to work harder to move vertically, but at least the barriers set in his or her way (such as asshats like you) are soft.

Re:Feed your children India! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710788)

India, by contrast, still reinforces a caste system that prevents vertical mobility no matter how clever and productive a person is.
When was the last time you were in India? Perhaps you have lived in today's India for a long enough time to say with certainty that the caste system prevents vertical mobility?

A black person in America may have to work harder to move vertically, but at least the barriers set in his or her way (such as asshats like you) are soft.
Which part of America do you live in?

Re:Feed your children India! (1, Troll)

JT27278 (589969) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710704)

The same can (and has) been said to all nations that spend money on space travel.

From "Whitey on the Moon" (1969) by The Last Poets:

Taxes takin' my whole damn check,
Junkies makin' me a nervous wreck,
The price of food is goin' up,
As if all that shit wasn't enough
A rat done bit my sister Nell
(and Whitey's on the moon)
Her face an' arm began to swell.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
Was all that money I made last year
(for Whitey on the moon?)
How come there ain't no money here?
(Whitey's on the moon!)...

Not retrieval (5, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709876)

When I first read the headline and blurb I thought India retrieved a satellite. As in how the Space Shuttle can go up, retrieve a satellite that otherwise is not designed for reentry, and bring it back to earth. This craft was designed for reentry in the first place, so they didn't really "bring" it back - they commanded it to return on its own.

Dan East

Re:Not retrieval (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710438)

And yet another way to put it would be to say that what they did was launch an object which later fell back to the ground (or sea, as it happens).

Actually, the natives do something similar up in Scotland, but I don't believe they refer to it as a space program over there.

Re:Not retrieval (1)

tonigonenstein (912347) | more than 7 years ago | (#17711166)

The title is correct but misleading. A better one would have been "India successfully tests reentry capsule".

Serves that satellite right (2, Interesting)

Merkwurdigeliebe (1046824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709888)

for having such a lofty attitude... Anyway, what did they mean by "home-built" rocket when they said:
A 550-kg recoverable space capsule that was launched by a home-built rocket on January 10 returned to earth's atmosphere
Does it mean "home" as in homecountry=India, or home as in someone's backyard?

Re:Serves that satellite right (1)

bingo_cannon (779085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710004)

"Indi(a)"genously developed! :P Result of the sanctions!

Re:Serves that satellite right (1)

DeadDarwin (1050498) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710192)

does "in-house" mean inside somebody's house on in a particular place? wtf do u know ...go and read some high school text books before you start plugging in your keyboard. it seems these people need war on every country to get some general knowledge...! losers...

Re:Serves that satellite right (5, Informative)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710362)

In India they speak English, which is not exactly the same as American. To Indians, India is 'home' and they may even have a government department known as the 'Home Office' or even a minister of 'Home Affairs' - that is the English tradition anyway. Therefore, on a grand scale, 'home built', simply means 'Made in India'.

Recovery Vehicle (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709890)

The Indian space program is now working on a recovery vehicle with four 'arms' to retrieve satellites. Here is a an artist's rendition [wikimedia.org] .

Re:Recovery Vehicle (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710950)

please dont make joke of our Gods (Its a Request).
It can hurt many.

Pathbreaking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709894)

Please could someone tell me what pathbreaking means. What path? The path to space greatness? In which case, is it a good thing they broke from the path? Are they no longer on the path to greatness? Or were they on the path to space suckness but have now managed to break off the path and providentially fallen onto the path of greatness?

+5, Funny to the first person ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709904)

... that can work "curry" into a joke.

Priorities (3, Interesting)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709906)

I was in India last year; the poverty and malnutrition [wfp.org] in the outlying areas is simply heart-breaking. Worse than anywhere else that I've been. Call me old-fashioned, but before a gov't starts acting on all of their world-stage aspirations, shouldn't they feed their citizens?

I guess that one could make the case that India's space program is an investment in the future, but I wouldn't want to be the one to try to sell that to people who don't have enough food.


Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17709958)

This is a forum for discussing science, not policies of nations.

Re:Priorities (4, Insightful)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709976)

I think it would be better if they gave up their nuclear weapons research [fas.org] rather than their space program. Better to cancel a destructive program than a constructive program to alleviate poverty.

Poverty Eradication is collective responsibility (1)

Duryo (614878) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710680)

It is a little to easy and a little too "20th century" to continue to believe that governments must solve all problems. Yes, poverty most definitely lies within the purvey of gov't, and it must make poverty alleviation a major priority, regardless of which nation we are talking about. But it is also the responsibility of all of us to take individual steps to help each person on this planet realize his or her full potential, to break the cycle of poverty, to get educated, to be healthy. Check out this website if you want to take a step towards helping in that way -- http://www.results.org/ [results.org] or http://www.results-resultats.ca/ [results-resultats.ca] or http://www.results-uk.org/ [results-uk.org]

Katrina Re:Priorities (0, Troll)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710002)

Shouldn't US have rebuilt New orleans and Missisippi devastated by Katrina before jumping into the Iraq War?
Each nation has its own priorities, and while you spout an altrustic question, the same was true in 1969 when UJS landed a man on moon.
The poverty in US at that time was high enough.

Re:Katrina Re:Priorities (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710072)

Katrina happened after we got into the Iraq War.

Re:Katrina Re:Priorities (5, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710078)

Shouldn't US have rebuilt New orleans and Missisippi devastated by Katrina before jumping into the Iraq War?

Yep. I think most people here are not going to argue that the Iraq war is worth the expense.

Each nation has its own priorities, and while you spout an altrustic question, the same was true in 1969 when UJS landed a man on moon.
The poverty in US at that time was high enough.


No, it wasn't. I think parent's argument isn't that you have to completely wipe out poverty, but that the level of poverty in India is so bad that a space program really is a waste of money. The poverty in the US in 1969 is still exponentially less than in modern-day India.

Re:Katrina Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710124)

Of course they should've - that's why they've been criticised.

It's exactly the same with India, the criticism is perfectly valid. I agree that alleviating poverty should be a higher priority than space-flight, especially since the long term returns from space travel are unlikely to affect the individual citizen.

Re:Katrina Re:Priorities (2, Informative)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710416)

Shouldn't US have rebuilt New orleans and Missisippi devastated by Katrina before jumping into the Iraq War?

The US was in the Iraq war before Katrina hit.

The poverty in US at that time was high enough.

I do not think that word means what you think it means. The poverty line in India [wakeupcall.org] is a whopping 1 US dollar per day according to the world bank, and the government on India puts it at around a third of that. About 75% of India is under this level. In the US however, the poverty line [wikipedia.org] is $9800 per year, about thirty times that of India, and only 12.7% (as of 2004) of the population fall beneath that. Comparing the US investment in space with the Indian investment in space given their relative domestic situations is a bit ludicrous.

Re:Katrina Re:Priorities (0, Flamebait)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17711352)

Shouldn't US have rebuilt New orleans and Missisippi devastated by Katrina before jumping into the Iraq War?
The #1 cause of dummycrats is ignorance of history.

Katrina happened after Operation Iraqi Freedom.

It's sad that idiots like you actually vote.

Re:Priorities (4, Insightful)

unother (712929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710010)

Yes, but you are presuming a causal linkage between the two if you suggest this (i.e. Money for Space = No Money for Food for the Poor).

I'm certain that a few things are on the mind of those who advocate the Space Program for India:

  1. India's borders with the Happy Happy Joy Joy Club members, Pakistan and China
  2. "Rising Tide" Theory (lifts all boats)
  3. Ensuring India has its own capacity to commence further Industrialization, removing some of its dependencies on "First World" technology and power.

In the end, I think India is reaching for the stars to make sure there is a way for those people to be fed.

Re:Priorities (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710082)

Yes, but you are presuming a causal linkage between the two if you suggest this (i.e. Money for Space = No Money for Food for the Poor).
Your post ignores the fact that less money spent on space = more money that can be spent on food for the poor.

Re:Priorities (1)

unother (712929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710248)

You are right, in the short-term.

My post is intended to point out that these actions are not predicated on short-term thinking. They are predicated on medium-term and long-term thinking.

I am certain that one of the ways India intends to life those people out of poverty is by improving the industrial and technological base of the nation as a whole. The thinking that goes into this means that these actions will provide India with better means to support its burgeoning population.

Re:Priorities (1)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710406)

Your post ignores the fact that less money spent on space = more money that can be spent on food for the poor.
And your post ignores the fact that money spent doesn't magically disappear and that it will eventually be passed down the economic food-chain. Of course it isn't a 1:1 coorelation down the economic food-chain but neither is money hand-outs to food.

Re:Priorities (1)

be-fan (61476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17711392)

That's only true over very short time-scales. India's GDP growth rate is 8.4%. Essentially that means $10 invested in the economy today is $15 you can spend, perhaps on food for the poor, five years from now.

The potential return on investment for India's space program is quite high. They're already making some inroads into the commercial launch market, and with further investment could become a major provider of low-cost commercial launch services. Modest investments today could lead to getting a good portion of the $3 billion launch industry, and a nice portion of the $90 billion commercial satellite industry. In the long term, that's going to feed far more people than would get fed by spending that money directly.

Re:Priorities (-1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710084)

Money is a zero sum game, so Money for Space = No Money for Food for the Poor is exactly how it works.

Re:Priorities (5, Insightful)

unother (712929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710206)

I'm sorry, but that's silly. Money is not a "zero-sum game". You are thinking of "money" in a pure balance-sheet, consumption-level sense. Remember, money is a carrier of value, a representation. If the value of a thing increases ten-fold, do you still pay the same in money for it?

As an example, let's say that by India being able to launch its own satellites it is able to improve its communications grids and make great savings in the cash sense, without relying on Western launchpads and satellites.

Don't you think they're saving money in the long run? Don't you also suppose that by saving that money, they can re-invest those savings in programs that assist the poor?

Re:Priorities (4, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710570)

Improving communications is so important for the agriculture sector. So many poor Indian farmers harvest their perishable crop and bring it to the market to sell at market price manipulated by the local agents/middlemen. Knowing what is the price in the town 15 km to the south vs the price in 14 km to west will mean a difference of 30% in revenue to the guy tending a half acre plot growing eggplants.

One of the interesting side effects of the cell phone explosion in rural India is that these farmers negotiate deals with big city wholesalers directly and skip one, two or sometimes even three levels of aggregators. Savvy farmers are cutting out the commissions to the middlemen by a large extent.

Of course weather prediction is another huge factor for Indian agriculture.

Re:Priorities (3, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710306)

Money is definitely not a zero sum game. Infact we have been manufacturing money for many centuries now. Manufacturing money without creating underlying wealth leads to inflation. But we know that we have been creating wealth, whether you measure it by current dollar, rupee value or by constant dollar/rupee value or in non monetary terms like square feet of constructed building, miles of roads or acres of irrigated fields. No sir, money/wealth is not a zero sum game.

Your argument about misplaced priorities, spending resources on space/nuclear program when millions of Indians are starving, has been around for a long long time. Even USA's NASA program came under the same criticism. It has its roots in the old socialistic ethos where equal distribution of poverty was desired more than unequal distribution of prosperity. Glad finally India is also coming around the view, that prosperity is better than poverty.

India has to become the leading edge on a few fields. No one country can dominate all fields, and definitely not India. It can even play cricket well or win an olympic medal. But if India finds a few niches where it can thrive in the global economy and bring home the moolah/bacon/bread/dough it will benefit all, including the poor who everyone is claiming to be sympathetic to. So you should see the investment in space program as an investment to find a tech niche in a growing field, the nuclear program as an investment against the invaders who have been pillaging India for centuries. India has suffered enough investing it all in butter and nothing in guns. In India v2.0 it will do well, I hope.

Re:Priorities (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710328)

sorry to follow up to myself. Crucial typo: India CAN'T even play cricket well.

Re:Priorities (2, Funny)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710552)

Yes, clearly, the only possible two choices are "Spend money on space" and "Spend money on food for the poor".

Re:Priorities (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710984)

"I think India is reaching for the stars to make sure there is a way for those people to be fed." You pathetic excuse for a human being. You dont need to "reach for the stars" to find a way to feed your starving children. What is it with you hindus anyways? There is no other people on earth who are as callous as you.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710030)

I was in India last year; the poverty and malnutrition [wfp.org] in the outlying areas is simply heart-breaking. Worse than anywhere else that I've been. Call me old-fashioned, but before a gov't starts acting on all of their world-stage aspirations, shouldn't they feed their citizens?

Acting on their "World-Stage Aspirations" is what will lead them to feed their citizens eventually.

Pot, kettle. Kettle, pot. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710054)

You know, there are millions [fhfh.org] of undernourished people in the U.S. too. It would have been nice if our government fed it's citizens before acting on all of it's "world-stage aspirations."

Re:Pot, kettle. Kettle, pot. (4, Insightful)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710386)

I do volunteer work in the inner-city and in rural Appalachia so I've seen first-hand the things that your link indicates, but the poverty in these places simply does not compare to what one will see in some of the places (India, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia, Pakistan) that I've been.

While anyone can cook up stats about hunger, there is a simple test that can indicate the true level of hunger in an area: offer a half-eaten sandwich (or whatever) to someone in the street and see the reaction. In the inner-city area near us where I serve, that will at least get you cussed out, if not get the crap beaten out of you. However, we have had six-year-old children at an outdoor restaurant in Oaxaca, Mexico, gratefully eat the last bite of our salad. Similar results in the countries listed above.

The fact is that there is hunger in some instances in the US, but it is more often due to parents' mental illness or drug/alcohol use than to a general lack of food availability. Often there is enough money but it is squandered on other things. In many cases in rural Appalachia, we have gone to houses where the kids truly do not have enough to eat and yet the parents have Marlboros (not even generics) and/or satellite TV. There's not much that can be done when parents care more about smoking and television than feeding their kids. Also, have you never heard of the Hunger/Obesity Paradox [google.com] . Read up, becuase in America, the poorest kids are also the fattest.

Yes, there is work to be done in the US but it's mostly treatment and/or education. Your post, however, glibly trivializes the dire circumstances that exist in many parts of the world where there simply is not enough food.

Re:Pot, kettle. Kettle, pot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710528)

I am well aware of all the things that you mentioned. However, you missed the point of my post. Your original comment was chastising India because they are spending millions on a space program while ignoring the plight of their citizens. I was merely pointing out that the EXACT same things happens here. And everywhere else. While you were chastising India, you should have been chastising every country that has the means to help others (and not just its own citizens. People are people, regardless of nationality), but chooses to use those means on other less noble endeavors (ignoring the "investment for the future" that many other posters have also mentioned).

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710188)

Am I the only one who is sick and tired of this old argument?

"cure aids, feed your population" if we focused on that only we'd still be living in caves!

Re:Priorities (1)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710466)

Am I the only one who is sick and tired of this old argument?

No, there are plenty of people who feel the same as you--they're called Republicans.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710190)

Well, you could say the same thing about the US space program.

Whitey on the Moon [gilscottheron.com]

Whitey on the Moon

A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face and arms began to swell.
(and Whitey's on the moon)
I can't pay no doctor bill.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
Ten years from now I'll be payin' still.
(while Whitey's on the moon)
The man jus' upped my rent las' night.
('cause Whitey's on the moon)
No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
I wonder why he's uppi' me?
('cause Whitey's on the moon?)
I wuz already payin' 'im fifty a week.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Taxes takin' my whole damn check,
Junkies makin' me a nervous wreck,
The price of food is goin' up,
An' as if all that shit wuzn't enough:
A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face an' arm began to swell.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
Was all that money I made las' year
(for Whitey on the moon?)
How come there ain't no money here?
(Hmm! Whitey's on the moon)
Y'know I jus' 'bout had my fill
(of Whitey on the moon)
I think I'll sen' these doctor bills,
Airmail special
(to Whitey on the moon)


Re:Priorities (1)

dumdumdum (764232) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710458)

I hope you are aware that total budget for ISRO responsible for India's space program is "staggering" Rs 3,148 Cr. That translates into US$900 Million Max. Even if India spends all this money on poverty alleviation program it would result into Rs 60/ Person($1.25) max. Also it will be a gainful exercise to find out how much Indian govt is spending on feeding its poor. Its definately 100 times more than what its spending on space research.

Also India's bid is to be self sufficient so that it doesnt have to pay unreasonable amounts to foreign countries. This space capsule was launched using an indian vehicle called PSLV which also put in orbit 2 satellites from other countries. That itself took care of most of costs associated with this launch

Its very easy to provide simplistic solutions about what other countries should or shouldnt do without living there or seeing the complete picture

Re:Priorities (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710596)

Its very easy to provide simplistic solutions about what other countries should or shouldnt do without living there or seeing the complete picture

For a more complete picture, you need to realise that there are almost as many unemployed in India as there are people in the US [wakeupcall.org] . So yes, that money could have been put to better use. I could start many, many businesses, even industries, with $900 million.

Re:Priorities (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17711000)

For a more complete picture, you need to realise that there are almost as many unemployed in India as there are people in the US.

So the solution is not to create new jobs, technologies, and industries with a Space Program, but to simply dole out the money to the poor until there is no more left?

Re:Priorities (2, Insightful)

egomaniac (105476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17711358)

For a more complete picture, you need to realise that there are almost as many unemployed in India as there are people in the US. So yes, that money could have been put to better use. I could start many, many businesses, even industries, with $900 million.

When people spend money, it's not like the money goes into a giant pit which they then light on fire. The money goes to scientists, lab technicians, programmers, janitors, and countless other employees directly or indirectly involved in the space program. Most of the money probably remained in India, but even the portion that was used to purchase foreign parts and labor isn't "gone" -- in a global economy, spreading money around often benefits everyone.

You could start an entire industry with $900 million dollars? You don't say! Maybe that's why that is exactly what India is doing with it -- the space industry, to be precise.

Re:Priorities (4, Interesting)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710488)

What is it about space stories (whether it's the US, or elsewhere) that always brings out the "Won't somebody think of the poor?" comments?

I knew I'd see something like this as soon as I saw this article - and indeed, two comments in the top ten posts.

Why do people not make the same charitable "Think of the poor" suggestions for other things? Most notably military spending, but Governments spend all sorts of money on things other than helping poor people. No one complains then. Indeed, usually you get the opposite response - "Why should I have to pay for poor people?"

Re:Priorities - USA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710508)

I was in a food bank yesterday, volunteering, right in NJ. They explained the need for such an organisation in the USA, the land of milk and honey. Why dont they make sure that the kids in USA have enough to eat etc before they drop billions you know where?

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710550)

Call me old-fashioned, but before a gov't starts acting on all of their world-stage aspirations, shouldn't they feed their citizens?

I completely agree. In particular, I think the world would be a much better place to live in if the USA spent the trillions of dollars the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan cost, stopping its citizens from having... what's the term these days? "Low food security"?

It amazes me that some Americans (not pointing fingers, udderly, I don't know where you are from) think of poverty and hunger as a problem brown-skinned nations have "over there", and are so quick to say "Why are they doing [x] when they should be fighting poverty?", when they don't bother following their own advice. Shouldn't the USA fix its poverty problem before "acting on all of their world-stage aspirations"?

Re:Priorities (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710564)

Call me old-fashioned, but before a gov't starts acting on all of their world-stage aspirations, shouldn't they feed their citizens?

Nope that'll rarely happen. Almost all governments act for their long term good rather than the good of their poorest citizens. The US, USSR, and China all have our "starving poor," but that hasn't stopped anyone of those countries from atleast attempting go into space. You could argue that the USSR's economic model reduced their capital so they just couldn't afford their space program, but for a long time they were neck and neck with the US space program. The US's higher standard of living allows our tax rate to fund more. China has a huge population so even though they may not spend the dollar amount that the US does; China can educate engineers and keep them working over time on a space program for long term national profit. India may think about doing the same thing. Just tell those starving poor to go through their engineering program and you'll get feed once you have been through their educational boot camp. Problem is its still possible to have starving engineers.

Re:Priorities (1)

TheCybernator (996224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710592)

Oh Ya? but that can be said to yours or any other country for that matter.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710630)

I think "home-built" in the article referred to some professional Indians doing high-end work building a rocket for which they got paid and in turn fed their families.

When these people bought food for their families, a food seller was able to make money to buy his family food.

When the food sellers bought food from the farmer, the farmers were about to make enough money to buy a greater variety of food, and equipment to grow more food.

But I'm smart enough to know life isn't all trickle down. What good does it do if the rich horde so much money that the poor are forced to stay poor? Notice that word "professional" in the first paragraph. Those professional Indians are middle class. They're the backbone of healthy societies. They go to colleges, and they pass on their knowledge and dedication to their children and others who meet them. They presumably work quite hard for their money.

There is the potential with this kind of project to generate entire industries that will help the middle class swell. That's very hard to do with food handouts. Although feeding people is critically important, it's also important to generate industries so in the future they can thrive on their own. Doing one without the other is a losing proposition. If you don't have good jobs, the countries suffering will never end.

Are they mutually exclusive? (2, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710632)

I wouldn't want to be the one to try to sell that to people who don't have enough food.


Let's see, how much food is wasted in building a satellite? Unless the rocket burns flour or vegetables, I can't see how not launching it would contribute to feeding anyone.


Or do you mean the money spent in the program should be used to buy food and give it to the needy? In that case, perhaps not launching one rocket would ease the hunger of a few million people. Today. But what about tomorrow? How do you propose to end once and for all the chronic problems of malnutrition in India? The Indian space program is giving their people a future, something that's infinitely more valuable than a plate of food.

Re:Is it either/or? (1)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710868)

I suggest investing in crop science to produce more food with the same land resources. It's worked [usda.gov] here.

Re:Are they mutually exclusive? (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17711054)

"In that case, perhaps not launching one rocket would ease the hunger of a few million people. Today. But what about tomorrow?"

If you've ever been in the position of starvation, I'd imagine you would _very_ quickly
appreciate how important it would be to have a meal today, versus your country being able
to deploy its own satellites in the near future.

Let alone a few million other people sharing your plight.

Re:Are they mutually exclusive? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17711108)

The Indian space program is giving their people a future, something that's infinitely more valuable than a plate of food.
Absolutely disgusting. A plate of food for a starving indian child, which of course you are not hence the cavalier attitude, is infinitely more valuable than putting rockets in space. Why are you scoundrels unable to feed half your children even after decades of independence? India has by far the worst record in the world when it comes to malnutrtition.

Re:Priorities (4, Insightful)

geobeck (924637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17711008)

...before a gov't starts acting on all of their world-stage aspirations, shouldn't they feed their citizens?

Let's go back to 1499. European countries were launching voyages of exploration, seeking out new trade routes and discovering new countries. Guess who else was doing that? China. Until their government decided that they should fix their problems at home before spending excessive resources on maritime exploration.

So where is China today compared to Europe in terms of domestic poverty? If you're going to stay at home until your domestic problems are solved, you're going to stay at home forever.

Re:Priorities (4, Insightful)

be-fan (61476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17711150)

So after they feed their people today, what do they do tomorrow? Welfare is a luxury for countries who have enough money that they don't need to make hard choices between economic progress and social well-being. For a developing nation, spending money on welfare for today's population is a sure way to perpetuate poverty to future generations. Investing in the economy, on the other hand, at least gives the hope that fewer people in the future will need welfare, and moreover that the government will be able to better afford welfare for those who still do need it.

There is also something to be said for the importance of a nation having ambitions on the world stage. Let me use as an example Bangladesh, where my parents were born, and which I still visit on occasion. Bangladesh has no ambition as a nation. Bengalis have no national pride to speak of, aside from a generally provincial sense of moral superiority. Their poverty is something that doesn't just manifest itself in the lack of food on the table, but something that infects their very mindset. They accept the state of affairs in their country, the political corruption and the social instability, because they lack the pride to believe that they are entitled to something better. Of the various problems the country faces, this lack of pride is far worse than flooding or hunger or disease combined. India presents a very stark contrast. If you look at the villages of India, you'll see the same hunger and disease you see in the villages of Bangladesh. But Indians have a great pride in their country, and in its long history of civilization. Their ambition drives them to improve their economy, invest in their infrastructure, and preserve their democracy. It is this ambition that makes it likely that in another couple of generations, India won't have to choose between improving their country and feeding the hungry. There is no similar hope for Bangladesh.

Reentry Technologies (2, Interesting)

quark1943 (1054426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709954)

Wikipedia has a pretty good page on reentry technologies [wikipedia.org] . Not that trivial to get all the systems perfected! A developing country like india needs this impectus to excite younger generation about science and space.

An anonymous troll wrote (Feed your Children, IN) (2, Insightful)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17709998)


"Feed your children India!
(Score:0, Troll)
by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22, @09:16AM (#17709874)
why dont these heartless hindus use some of their engineers to design sanitation systems, water purification plants, food preservation technologies etc? This sorry excuse of a nation has the world's largest concentration of hungry people without access to clean water or toilet facilities. Shame on them!"

He does have a point however. "The World's Largest Democracy" (tm)
India spends a lot of effort on developing military capabilities. Feeding their people is obviously not a priority.

Re:An anonymous troll wrote (Feed your Children, I (3, Insightful)

unother (712929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710050)

India spends a lot of effort on developing military capabilities. Feeding their people is obviously not a priority.

Again: see my first post [slashdot.org] on this.

It's well and good for us Westerners to wag our fingers at them, but we're not the ones sharing borders with their potentially hostile neighbors (Pakistan, China).

Re:An anonymous troll wrote (Feed your Children, I (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710492)

Yes, China and Pakistan are potentially hostile neighbors to India. But what is India really protecting? A very large portion of the population barely finds enough to eat each day. I don't think their biggest concern is Chinese or Pakistani soliders. It's just finding enough edible material to subsist on for the day.

There's really no significant infrastructure to protect. Again, the vast majority of Indians do not have access to things as basic as running water or sewage treatment facilities. In many regions, the housing is little more than straw huts and bent iron sheets.

It makes little sense to spend so much in the way of resources guarding what basically amounts to nothing.

Re:An anonymous troll wrote (Feed your Children, I (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710884)

You don't think Canada is hostile?

Re:(Feed your Children, IN) ,re from indian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710392)

Hi ,
            u r certainly right we should look at feeding our poor . but being an indian i can tell u it is not so easy to get things done in the biggest democracies while all civil, sanitation things fall into local governments responsibility and due to local beauracracy and poloitics nothing gets done.

  while the top brains with good funding and focussed on goals in research orgs like ISRO get done things quickly and hence u see poor people and space progs and N Bombs.

                       

Re:An anonymous troll wrote (Feed your Children, I (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710428)

When someone points to others countries problem (like poverty, malnutrition etc in India). It definetly reminds me of New Orleans and the poverty in US ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United _States [wikipedia.org] )

Uncomparable budgeting. (2, Insightful)

splutty (43475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710604)

I'm very sure that the budgeting issues between these two activities are so insanely far apart, that any sort of comparison would be impossible to make.

Tossing a rocket into space with a vehicle built for re-entry would be a lot easier and cost a lot less than making sure everyone in a country containing 1.2 billion people will be fed properly.

Re:Uncomparable budgeting MOD PARENT UP! (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710818)

"I'm very sure that the budgeting issues between these two activities are so insanely far apart, that any sort of comparison would be impossible to make."

Laughter hits the hardest when you're not expecting it. Hilarious!

Best thing (5, Funny)

Fist! Of! Death! (1038822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710092)

Best to retrieve it before China shoots it down I guess.

Safer on the ground (1, Funny)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710236)

> India Brings Back Orbiting Satellite to Earth

You think they're going to leave it out there for China to shoot it down?
It's like when you see someone practicing reverse parking on your neighbors car.
You briskly move yours into the garage.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/washington dc/la-fg-satellite19jan19,0,2329821.story [latimes.com]

Outtasite Deals (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710318)

Good - the world needs more competition fueling peaceful space industries. And more stakeholders across national borders in space property, so there's more complex consequences to blowing stuff up out there.

Now, where will the quality ratings come from? A "Consumer Reports" or "JD Power" testing report for these services of varying cost and quality?

You mean ... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710394)

" India Brings Orbiting Satellite Back to Earth"

Moonraker? (3, Funny)

Brunellus (875635) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710442)

I just started humming the theme from "Moonraker"

FOBS treaty? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710540)

Has India signed a treaty against FOBS? (Fractional Orbit Bombardment Systems)

Now they have the ability to orbit an atomic bomb and bring it down on Pakistan without a launch warning.

India as long as it is Hindu, will NOT ever care for the starving. India is a first world Aryan aristocracy class ruling over slave classes whose life means literally nothing to them - to the point of burning to death Christian missionaries caring for the poor. Talk to them of priorities and they will think you are mad.

Deceleration Techniques? (1)

martyb (196687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710934)

From the 2nd article:

By the time SRE-1 descended to an altitude of 5 km, aerodynamic breaking had considerably reduced its velocity to 101 m/sec (363 km per hour).

I guess that's ONE way to do it. <grin>

Pathbreaking??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17711224)

Ummm... I would think that this successful test BUILDS a path instead of BREAKING it.

Editorial comment (1)

Eideteker (641508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17711336)

Where did the slashdot editors learn grammar? "India brings orbiting satellite back to Earth." Because the other way means that they're fostering a revival of the orbiting satellite, which had fallen out of favor on Earth. I love orbiting satellites! Someone should bring those back, along with the grunge look.*

*Sample sentence. Opinions expressed within may not reflect actual opinions of the author.

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