This launch includes 12 Earth imaging satellites from Planet (https://www.planet.com/pulse/flock-2p-launches-successfully-...) and a second generation satellite from Google's Terra Bella.
'What, what does that mean?'
> "Each of these small objects that you are putting into space will carry out their own activity, which is independent of the other, and each of them will live a wonderful life for the finite period for which they have been designed," he said, ahead of the launch.
'Oh! That was... surprisingly poetic.'
I've been on HN for many years and my recollection is that the community here has been very supportive and encouraging of India's efforts in space technology.
Unless your memory is selective - you may recall that the support was far from unanimous. I recall a number of HNers stating that the ISRO budget would be better spent on other 'more pressing' challenges India is facing (poverty, sanitation). In fairness, there was a lot of push-back against the naysayers, stating why the space program is money well spent (the most prominent benefits I recall were improved weather predictions benefit farming and cheaper/better telecoms)
--edit: added stuff below this line--
The naysayers have made an appearance in this very thread. They are currently being downvoted (I expect nothing less from HN).
If we really want to colonize space we need self sustaining habitats and highly compact and automated manufacturing from raw materials. Both can be done while staying on earth, and sending people up or yet another probe is mostly pointless.
Good thing they are lifting telecom & weather sats too! It's reasonable to say those are not pointless.
It's unreasonable to put space programs on hold while we try to solve the human condition. There is no political will or even widespread support. People are horrible - they worry about themselves, their families, their neighbourhoods, towns and countries in that order. "Self-sustaining habitats, pffft, not with my hard-earned tax dollars. Build my kid's school a bigger stadium than last years'"
Especially considering the general negative narrative of misplaced priorities of a thirdworld country from the likes of bbc/guardian/nytimes, HN is a breath of fresh air - probably because HN community is more optimistic about the positive impact of tech, and bbc/guardian/nytimes are not, and sees feeding the hungry and investing in R&D as mutually exclusive.
I remember a large number of users who were enthusiastically supportive.
Mostly what I remember is how quickly the conversation dove into people wondering why the American program was expensive, then discussions on Musk.
The mission was just straight up cool and everyone was kicked to see it succeed.
(I think many people here are still kicked that we as a species could get a satellite that far, and at that cost)
Make a statement about how it's disappointing about the lack of support for X, even though the opposite is true.
Plebs then rush to upvote this statement because they (like the majority) do support X.
Disappointing, but it often works.
I had a look at the top voted story on the Mars mission "Why India's Mars mission is so cheap - and thrilling", 392 points
and I'm not sure anyone was laughing at it. About the closest anyone got was saying the payload was not very heavy.
The one thing I sometimes complain about is the nationalism. India's no worse than the others on tis front. I'd like (personally) for space exploration to be a human endeavor rather than a national one.
At the end of the day, ISRO will be an Indian space agency and so the nationalism display, sometimes though excessive.
I completely agree that nationalism is horrible for something as important as space colonization. But make no mistake, unless we manage to form an international government before space colonization commences, there will be a scramble for space colonies, much like there was a scramble for colonies on earth.
Due to the complex history of evolving meanings and contexts, there is no clear or agreed-upon definition of the Third World. Some countries in the Communist Bloc, such as Cuba, were often regarded as "Third World". Because many Third World countries were extremely poor, and non-industrialized, it became a stereotype to refer to poor countries as "third world countries", yet the "Third World" term is also often taken to include newly industrialized countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China (see also: BRIC).
Questions comes to my mind are;
- How well(deserved) the engineers were paid during the development?
- How much of the budget were invested in research?
- What are the positive outcomes of the mission?
I think they have some direct effects on the budget as well.
It has nothing to do with third world achievements. It is more about Nehruvian style elites claiming glory in scientific achievements while day-to-day problems that vast underclass is facing goes unanswered because it is tough.
So Indian achievements are in categories where they punish or reward a small group because that is easier than tackling major issues e.g. banning smoking in public places because it is easy but not banning polluting vehicles as it has political repercussions.
Yes India has problems, but doesn't mean that it has to stop progress in all other places until all these problems (poverty, polluting vehicles, etc) are solved. Because guess what, if one problem is solved, the next one comes up.
Progress has to happen on all fronts. Banning cigarettes is good and doesn't have to wait until vehicle pollution is banned. Each will take its own time.
Just because India's Mars mission and satellite launches are taking top spot in the news, doesn't mean that India has now started rewarding only the elite. Its a tiny tiny fraction of India's GDP. We lag behind in so many areas, but we are also progressing in Healthcare, IP laws, Right to food, etc. I don't think anyone even knows that India as a "Right to Information" act. Citizens can direct queries to government offices (offline or online) and beaurocrats get penalized if they respond late. So yes, progress doesn't need to stop.
ISRO saves lives. Their satellites, gave us early warning during the Cyclones 2-3 years ago, allowing for rapid evacuation and relief.
They put food on our plates and help poor farmers plan crops because those satellites are the ones giving us excellent, world class meteorological data.
It's done on a budget so tiny, that the ROI for this division is possibly better than any other government department in India. AND - ISRO launches make money for the organization.
It's an example of excellence in challenging conditions, and everything that Nehruvian style engineering stood for.
They do India proud, and naysayers can be safely ignored.
Heck most of American Fortune 500's are leveraging Indian brains to increase profits. Google is run by an Indian and so is Microsoft. There are Vikram Musks that are already captains of industry in America. Born and raised in India.
India is a country of disparity. Both intellectual and economic. That problem is not going to be solved any time soon. But if Indians want to create companies to compete on the global stage there is not much stopping them other than their own government and financial systems.
That statement is suggestive of an Indian race that's generally not intelligent. Just curious on your country of origin and race, and source of this bias!
These types of achievements are great though, in the sense that they foster competition and help everyone improve.
But yes, I would agree that they are overrated here on HN. They are by no means the first to try mass-market EV (see: Leaf, ZOE, i3) but somehow seem to get all the credit.
This helps India and also helps neighbouring countries instead of relying on archiac GPS system which US doesn't share with defense systems to countries other than Pakistan
What was the technological leap? ISRO could have done this few years back as well. Its just that the payload combination clicked this time.
By bragging about things like these we merely betray our jingoism. And what's more when a real technological feat happens it would be drowned out because we gloated over things like this.
Also I hope many of the posters here are seriously thinking about giving to ISRO or working for them. ISRO could seriously use more tech talent.
It makes sense since the only other two agencies which were able to send many satellites were NASA and the Russian space agency. So this news shows ISRO is also a serious contender.
>By bragging about things like these we merely betray our jingoism.
Posting a BBC article here is not bragging. Though i wouldn't suggest people to go out and say we are the best, since we aren't, I don't see any harm in posting this kind of news on HN.
You seem to think things should be ground breaking to be appreciated, it need not be to appreciate the efforts of the scientists.
They're uninsurable for commercial telecom satellite launches. The PSLV is slightly better but also has a much smaller market.
But the more serious point is that we now have an entire generation of kids growing up learning about rocket science. It's exciting to see what they will do with this knowledge when they grow up.
Clean and safe menstrual pads, clean water, infrastructure, education, controlled agriculture. These are pillars of progress. Space programs are impressive, but are of very little consequence when half the population is so poor, they crap on the streets in plain sight at daylight. Meanwhile women are ashamed to hang their sanitary pads in the sun to properly disinfect them due to 3rd world superstitions about cleanness and evil spirits. There are grown men in India who don't even know that women have periods. Others bury their dead in the Ganges while downstream the same water is used for cooking and drinking.
and created many more issues
Women do not want to public display sanitary pads as here, there is nothing about "superstitions about cleanness and evil spirits". If you want to see superstitions look at all apartments in developed US/Canada where floor no. 13 is missing, and number 666 is found offensive by government
And deads are not buried but cremated on river beds. Burying practice also cause pollution FYI
BTW, you are right about open defecation in urban area. That needs to be changed.
The statements are not false, burying your head in the sand is not going to make uncomfortable things untrue. Minus the menstrual-pad thing, I've seen the rest with my own eyes in India.
The international poverty line is ~$700/year. India's average income, adjusted for purchasing parity, is $6100/year. If you're going to make inflammatory, derogatory statements, at least get your facts right.
> The international poverty line is ~$700/year. India's average income, adjusted for purchasing parity, is $6100/year.
The mean income (which is the average for which that statement is true) tells you nothing about whether the majority is above or below a certain point, unless you know independently that the distribution is normal, so that the mean is also the median (but that's unlikely for an income distribution in a country.)
As it turns out, I was right. The other person to reply to me, dug up evidence showing that only 22% earn below the intl poverty line. Not "the majority" as was stated.
In India, as of 2011:
- 293 million (or 22% of the population) live on less than $1.90 a day (international poverty line).
- 708 million (or 55% of the population) live on less than $3.10 a day.
"Internationally, an income of less than $1.90 per day per head of purchasing power parity is defined as extreme poverty. By this estimate, about 32.7% percent of Indians are extremely poor. Income-based poverty lines consider the bare minimum income to provide basic food requirements; it does not account for other essentials such as health care and education. The number of people living on less than $1.9 per day in 2011 was 259.5 million (21.3% of the total population)."
32.7% are considered "extremely poor" and the poverty line counts only for basic food - not healthcare, education, etc.
India's poverty levels are extreme, severe, and talking about it is neither false, inflammatory, derogatory, or an attack.
Edit: what's with the glut of down-votes all of a sudden? Usually links and evidence - especially in recognizing social injustice - are welcomed on HN.
I replied stating that his comment contains factually false statements.
You replied calling me out, saying that there were no false statements.
You later provided proof that only 22% of the population lives below the international poverty line.
22% is no where even close to 50%. I don't know why you keep trying to defend this as a true statement. It isn't, as you yourself supplied proof for.
Regarding your point that I'm getting lost in semantics: I should be the one saying that to you. The entire debate about the international poverty line was not even my main point. My main point as stated originally was that the post was an unnecessarily condescending rant.
And it is. If we were discussing the overall state of India, then the above comment might be a fair one. But that's not even close to what this thread is about. This thread is about India's space agency launching 20 satellites in a single mission. Someone then went off on a (unnecessary) tangent about the original definition of "3rd world", as relating to the cold war. Someone else then went off on another completely unrelated rant about every single problem he could think of, that exists in the country.
Bringing up valid criticisms during the appropriate context/discussion, is certainly very valuable. But criticizing someone/something during completely unrelated discussions isn't. It's usually just a sign of someone who enjoys condescending to others and enjoys the feeling of power that comes with it.
Besides launching satellites is a very profitable business for India. So why not?
You don't have to fix every other problem in the world before doing something advanced.
We need the intellectual maturity as a community to resist such temptation and differentiate one topic (e.g., a good thing people are doing) from another (e.g. the worst known fact about those people). This is more important the more complex a system gets, and it's hard to imagine more complex systems than a country or more complex countries than India.
And the space program has a budget of Rs. 7,927 crore
(£799,871,700) according to wikipedia.
So to address your point, yeah India spends quite a bit on Sports, but no way near as much as their Space Program.
And US has 44M people on food stamps ;-(
That's how social programs work. It wouldn't be working if they weren't giving them out to the lower distribution of the US income.
I'm not sure what point you were trying to make, that food stamps imply the country is poor? Would highlighting that the UK has 100% of its people on NHS also imply that their citizens are poor?
NHS is paid health insurance, sometimes pretty expensive, not much relevant.
Ration stamps merely represented a limited ability to buy a resource in short supply. For example, if you had ration stamps for gasoline/petrol, you could buy up to whatever quantity you had stamps for -- you handed over the stamps and cash.
You are confusing this with a ration system using stamps, which allows the purchase of a good, but does not actually pay for the goods.
> The record for the most number of satellites launched in a single mission belongs to Russia, which sent up 37 satellites in 2014.
Also, it's not exactly a feat. If someone really wanted, they could stuff a rocket full of nanosats but I imagine there's more risk in launching that much at once. (They could be released in sequence but still, more chances for something to go wrong.)
The record for the most number of satellites launched in a single mission belongs to Russia, which sent up 37 satellites in 2014.
But, nevertheless, impressive.
"the PSLV's payload to LEO is 3.25 tons. Wikipedia gives the cost of a launch at 15 million USD so that gives about $4600/kg to LEO. For context, that's nearly twice as expensive per kg as a Falcon 9 launch but they're difficult to compare because they serve different launch markets."