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India locates lander lost on final approach to moon (apnews.com)
148 points by oblib 38 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 50 comments

All: please don't take this thread, or any other HN thread, into nationalistic flamewar. It breaks the site guidelines and is off topic here.

If your comment might contain flamebait, please edit it until it clearly doesn't.

Thank you for consistently and tirelessly following through on these guidelines throughout.

It is hard work and we (well, many of us) appreciate it.

More information on the video here: https://www.indiatoday.in/science/chandrayaan-2-mission/vide...

It was located via thermal image which I find interesting for something that far away.

It was spotted from the satellite which carried it there and is now orbiting the moon. Not too far I guess.

That's actually a pretty great accomplishment to find it so quickly. When Apollo 11's Eagle was on the moon no one could figure out where it was. The orbiter couldn't spot it and mission control had all these detailed maps and telemetry and couldn't get the right spot based on data and descriptions from the astronauts of what they were looking at. Seeing something on the moon is hard.

Something designed as an unmanned orbiter will have better sensors than a "man in a can" like the Apollo Command Module.

Also the 50 years factor. Digital camera that we use today started to sell in the market at around year 2000. And then those were only VGA resolution 640x480 pixel.

discussion about the Doppler curve observed https://twitter.com/cgbassa/status/1170481030932942848

Landing on extraterrestrial objects is really difficult. Even the US, which is the champion at this, has had a number of failures. I trust the Indian engineers will figure out what went wrong, keep trying, and eventually succeed, maybe on the very next mission.

Also, the mission includes an orbiter with a number of scientific instruments for studying the Moon which is still going strong.

What a bummer. Would be cool if it survived. Let's see, hope they can figure out details and share learnings.

They are going to try to connect with the rover for 15days.

“It must’ve been a hard landing.”

According to this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xKJG00-S_c, end velocity was probably around 100m/s (also that the lander started tumbling at the end stage)

I have the impression that would leave a big mark

Love Scott Manley's videos. Wonder how long 'till we get a re-enactment in KSP.

Any chance the rover might have survived? Also I wish it was more a ball than a shape that could tip over!

After seeing the way the Pakistani minister of science was tweeting about this, then the negative comments like the one in this very thread by an account created 6 minutes ago, I can't help but assume that the enemies of India must represent the majority of the negative sentiment about this attempt.

ISRO should be very proud of their accomplishments. The people saying that India should worry about their starving population first and foremost don't understand that:

a.) populations feed themselves, there is no government on Earth that has ever successfully fed its population

b.) ISRO has been able to recover a large part of its costs by launching foreign payloads

c.) ISRO provides non-bureaucratic pencil pushing jobs for Indians, in particular the sorts of jobs for some of the brightest Indians who would otherwise be very likely to leave the country for better prospects

d.) We all benefit from the sort of science being done here, today

Please don't take HN threads further into nationalistic flamewar, even if others have made unfair accusations. Such discussions are equal parts predictable and nasty, we've had them many times before, and we don't need to have them again.


Is discussion of the social and geopolitical aspects of this event acceptable?

I understand the need to avoid flamewars, but I also believe that there is still a very strong contingent of people on HN that use it as a place to discuss things like this in a mature and appropriate way. Speaking only for myself, this is one of the reasons I like HN so much. It’s become more difficult as we’ve grown, but that’s to be expected. I hope we don’t lose the ability to have reasonable discussions of otherwise controversial topics :(

In principle yes, in practice it's hard to say. Discussion of the social and geopolitical aspects could be acceptable if it wasn't repetitive and remained respectful. Unfortunately, the odds are higher of it swerving into angry repetition of the same tedious points over and over again, such as "why do they spend money on this rather than toilets", which HN has seen a great deal of in the last few days. Similarly, if a comment starts out by going on about the "enemies of India", there's little chance the thread won't degenerate.

Fair enough, and thanks for responding. I’ll try to keep my mouth shut in this particular topic for a while at least. :)

Actually it's not as much as enemies of India. I have seen fairly negative comments about India's accomplishments from neutral folks.

My own understanding is that India's rise makes people uncomfortable because they can no longer think that there's this mass of people who's worse off than them. India's accomplishments challenge their worldview and their place in it. I have indeed noticed this trend amongst people who aren't well off themselves. They are extra vocal and vicious in their attacks.

Earlier, this used to affect me. And I would try to correct them, even have arguments. But I have accepted this now. India and others should just ignore them as it's not really a constructive criticism and double down on all growth attempts

Honestly I think so much of the negative bias towards India (from the US at least) comes from some unfortunate American practices. A lot of our customer service organizations here in the states have a really bad habit of outsourcing the labor to the cheapest bidder, and due to economic differences, the cheapest bidder is often Indian. This means that a large portion of Americans are being exposed almost exclusively to one tiny segment of the Indian population, and usually those that are the poorest (cheapest bidder is cheapest for a reason) and not actually representative of the culture at large. It colors our expectations, and the bias is hard to throw off sometimes, even when we're aware of it.

There's some real technical talent within India, and I've had the pleasure of working with some of that talent during my day job. Even though this mission was ultimately a failure, that it got as far as it did is a testament to their accomplishments. Space is hard.

Bravo team, continue learning as much as you can about where things went wrong, and may your future endeavors be even more successful!

I hugely admire working with my American colleagues. They are indeed far more talented and it has always been a great learning experience. In fairness, if America wants it can cut India off. And the country will be many years behind without these opportunities. I always thought that investment in India is to integrate it into the world better and give people chance to be self supporting. And there's a hope that it will pay off on the world level to everyone. I do understand many Americans suffered from global pressures. But their sacrifices and continued persistence to add value is a great model for all of us. Well, at least for me.

Actually US tried to cut India off many times. It actually supported Pakistan during 1972 war. After India tested second nuclear bomb, US tried to pressurize India by way of restricting many technology transfer but India actually came out stronger. It developed most of those technologies on its own. US even denied the service of GPS system following which India developed its own solution. Unlike China (and Japan in the past), India's economy doesn't depend much on US.

As is often pointed out, a big weakness of India's economy is the poor interconnections with the global economy. In addition, as you have pointed out, this is also a source of, or at least opportunity for, strength.

I am not sure the balance is correct (it's absurd that as a PIO my investment opportunities are better not only than other foreign investors, but citizens too), but it's arguable and worth thinking about.

Yes and those embargos indeed put India many years behind. I do think it's quite admirable that the country developed these things indigenously. But we should take the existing good and advances from all around us and leapfrog. And build upon it. Instead of getting into the trap of developing our own. American capitalism is indeed a great example in this regards on economic expansion. They leveraged the global imbalance and came out stronger despite job losses. SpaceX, Tesla, Calico, Boston Dynamics and many others are well footed into the future because of that.

> Actually it's not as much as enemies of India. I have seen fairly negative comments about India's accomplishments from neutral folks.

When Israel's lander crashed there were lots of negative comments as well.

I think some people are just ... I don't know, just not good people.

Exactly, it’s not so much “enemies of India” as it is merely differing opinions.

I’m Indian (though I emigrated to the west when I was a teenager), and I consider myself pro-Indian, and I also consider it to be pro-Indian to give a voice to India’s less fortunate population. Personally I support programs to reduce poverty with greater enthusiasm than I support space exploration. In my view there is nothing about that that is offensive to India, in fact it elevates the majority of India’s population.


Please don't use HN for racial or national or religious or ethnic or any other kind of flamebait. This is all off topic for HN, and we ban accounts that post like this repeatedly.


Sorry, but how is this flamebait ? I've given sources, and academic citations (from publishers like OUP and SUNY press). I even mention how such false knowledge affects not just Europeans view of India, but the Indian view of India.

Veering wildly off topic into inflammatory agendas is flamebait regardless of how many academic citations you include.

HN readers come here for intellectual curiosity: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html. There's no such curiosity in reciting pre-existing agendas about who's defaming whose nation excessively or insufficiently. That already is always off topic here. Worse, it provokes others into stepping further into the inner circles of hell. We already saw that below.

Typical right wing Hindutva tropes where the people in power- upper caste Hindus are painted as victims. Sati, child marriage and caste discrimination is now illegal. Get over it.

Flaming like this will get you banned on HN regardless of how wrong someone else is. Please read https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and stick to the rules when posting here.

There may also be bad sentiment leaking over from the media blackout and ethnic cleansing in Kashmir. FWIW I think that’s silly and stupid to take it out on the space agency, but it’s also human.

Can you cite a source for ethnic cleansing? Per a Guardian report, if the military is to be believed, five people have been killed in thirty days. That is tragic but not quite on the scale of the claim.

As per guidelines.."Please don't use HN for racial or national or religious or ethnic or any other kind of flamebait. This is all off topic for HN, and we ban accounts that post like this repeatedly."

Im gonna say it because Dang apparently isnt (to this comment)

Thank you. I want to add an aside here: I have chronically abused the rules of this site in the past. I was ignorant as to the mission of Hacker News and how it can help me! I realized that my ideas are worth having a slow, measured conversation punctuated by facts and understanding of other views just as well as my own. I was falling into a trap of politicizing truth and losing my way in the process.

I’m thankful dang gave me the opportunity to change.

If you consider serious allegations of ethnic cleansing to be flamebait, you're the exact phenomenon that enables it.

Secondly, if you think this doesn't play into international perception of India at the moment, I'm not sure what would be on topic.

As a Pakistani, I'm embarrassed for the conduct of our Minister of SciTech, he was fired from the info ministry and is desperately trying to claw his way back to the limelight, please ignore the idiot.

All good and I agree, but consider likewise that scientific prestige is sometimes a figleaf for poor behavior, and at the same time this has been happening India has taken an entire province subject to a disputed territorial claim and placed it under a near-total total communications blackout. For Indie to then lose contact with its own spacecraft just before its moment of triumph thus seems like poetic justice.

I presume that by 'enemies of India' you allude to Pakistan, but it's also possible that vindictively negative comment could come from racists in the US or other countries who feel antipathy towards India. This isn't uncommon in software development where such people seem sadly over-represented.

Also for future satellites(or other space tech) if you don't have your own rockets you will have to use US,Russian or other countries tech. so your money would go in foreign pockets instead of your own scientists,engineers and other local workers.

As the saying goes, haters gonna hate.. best to ignore and carry on the process.

Extemely proud of ISRO.

Not to mention that putting stuff into space is great boost for human culture and morale. Totally worth it.

a.) populations feed themselves, there is no government on Earth that has ever successfully fed its population

This is not true. There are many structural aspects to alleviating hunger and governments definitely play a big role in improving or exacerbating them.

I think most people would agree that the Indian space program is a good thing, and despite any political, ethnic, cultural differences, etc, science is something that brings us together no matter our race, skin color, religion, etc.

That being said, it’s crazy that you insist on taking this thread on a political tangent, but I’m not surprised.

Any time there’s a discussion on India’s space program or general poverty in India, honor killings, killings over cows/beef, I see (presumably) Indian people somehow bring Pakistan into the discussion (India ranks X at Y, but Pakistan is X - 1), even though there’s no other mention of Pakistan.

Another observation from when I contracted in energy is that many Indian colleagues suspected a new hire was Pakistani and purposely excluded him and went out of their way to not share information.

The unhealthy obsession with Pakistan doesn’t make sense. I’ve seen this in so many Indians (anecdotally of course) that I wonder how it goes to this. Sure they’ve been fighting over Kashmir for half a century or something. I get that India has a lot of poverty. I suspect the Indian news media has its own share of the Fox News of the world who probably prey on the poor or uneducated and brainwash them into hating Pakistanis.

Chill out for once. Even if the rover didn’t land successfully, this is still huge progress.



Please don't break the site guidelines by replying to an egregious comment, a.k.a. feeding trolls. It just makes the thread even worse. Ditto for going into personal attack.


I think something gone wrong in estimating https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitation_of_the_Moon and/or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_field_of_the_Moon

And I suspect ISRO compromised on critical aspects during simulation due to cost cutting.

Do you have any evidence to support your assertions of this being a likely cause, or that cost cutting could be to blame?

One of the prominent claims about the mission is its low cost, which makes that a reasonable hypothesis.

This implies nothing. We have more man power with low pays compared to US.

We have launched many more successful launches which cost nothing compared to NASA

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