Congratulations, India!
November 8, 2008 3:40 PM   Subscribe

India's lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, has just reached the moon. G. Madhavan Nair, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, told reporters, "The last 20 minutes were so critically important, I can say my heart skipped a beat or two." Here are some hi-res photos of Earth, taken by Chandrayaan-1.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing (29 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
That's super-cool. Good on them!
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 3:45 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Shahir paneer, now made with green cheese!
posted by CynicalKnight at 3:47 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

This has been one heck of a historic week!
posted by MaxK at 3:52 PM on November 8, 2008

Very cool.
posted by homunculus at 4:03 PM on November 8, 2008

Good on us; us humans.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:48 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

CNN has no science section (?!?!) but the front page of "Tech" is about some medical robot. Not in the other top stories either. Nor on the "World" page.

Way to go US. Way. To. Go.

(Good job India, though)
posted by DU at 5:00 PM on November 8, 2008

Thanks for this post Marisa Stole the Precious Thing, I had no idea this had happened.

Awesome news! Jai Hindustan!!! This is amazing news!

Chandra is Sanskrit for the moon. The name Chandrayaan, Sanskrit: चंद्रयान, lit: Moon-vehicle.

Ooh, a Googple map showing where the Chandrayaan is now. This minute it's above Puerto Rico.

Count on India to figure out the least expensive way to do this and pack in the maximum: " the Indian moon mission is the cheapest till date of all moon missions in this century, but one also which creates a world record of carrying the largest suite of scientific instruments ever to be carried to the moon till date." $80 million.

The rocket went up from Satish Dhawan Space Center 100 km North of Chennai. (Madras) map.

Video of the launch.

Mylswamy Annadurai, the scientist in charge of the mission.

And yeah, googling Chandrayaan-1 it's bizarre the news is basically only on Indian sites. What's going on with this?

A nice Chandrayaan Animation by Thejes on YouTube

Official Homepage of Chandrayaan-1

BBC - In pictures: India's moon mission - views from the streets
posted by nickyskye at 5:59 PM on November 8, 2008 [4 favorites]

Yeah, but did it tweet me to tell me it got there?

(no really, I eagerly await further photos).
posted by ikahime at 6:10 PM on November 8, 2008

Very cool. (I have been hearing about this for a bit— I don't think I knew about it before it launched, but once it did, even my US-centric information sources mentioned it from time to time.)

And $80 million? Impressive.
posted by hattifattener at 6:21 PM on November 8, 2008

Because it's not on CNN, my wife doubts that it happened. *sigh*

By explicitly searching for "Chandrayaan-1" on MSNBC I managed to find a story from 4 days ago saying they were "on track for this weekend". Top science story on MSNBC? "Top 5 most cinematic video games" featuring "memorable cut scenes".

/me burns down western civilization
posted by DU at 6:48 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]

Oh FFS, the top space story on MSNBC is "favorite 3D images we've gotten from Mars". The 4 day old HUMANS (about to) WALK ON THE MOTHERFUCKING MOON story is about 10 items down.

posted by DU at 6:50 PM on November 8, 2008

Uh, DU - Chandrayaan-1 is an unmanned probe.
posted by dansdata at 7:13 PM on November 8, 2008

Mankind is one step closer to a Dell call center on the moon.
posted by crapmatic at 7:19 PM on November 8, 2008

"Because it's not on CNN, my wife doubts that it happened. *sigh*"

Wait, what? WTF Mrs DU? The BBC has it as it's top Science/Technology story. Is that good enough?
posted by saturnine at 7:20 PM on November 8, 2008

Every day just has just kept getting brighter these past couple of weeks. Nice work, India.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:16 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

With today’s successful manoeuvre, India becomes the fifth country to send a spacecraft to Moon. The other countries, which have sent spacecraft to Moon, are the United States, former Soviet Union, Japan and China. Besides, the European Space Agency (ESA), a consortium of 17 countries, has also sent a spacecraft to moon.

This is a much better indicator for a technologically advanced society than the ability to build a nuclear bomb.
posted by felix betachat at 9:59 PM on November 8, 2008

Oh, and crapmatic, I think this makes it vastly more likely that India will be served at some point by call centers in the US.
posted by felix betachat at 10:01 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yay, really cool, more ICBMs.

Really, who has a space program who isn't just working on missile tech? If Iran did this they'd get nuked.
posted by pompomtom at 1:58 AM on November 9, 2008

I hate to be the one that says it, but harkening back to our own space program of the 60's and 70's... Couldn't that $80 million be put to better use in India? I'm pretty sure there are staving peoples living in squalor somewhere in India. I'm pretty sure there are some overcrowded classrooms, Children to be inoculated, etc.
posted by Gungho at 5:16 AM on November 9, 2008

If there's 70 scientists in launch control and they all have to shake hands with each other, how many handshakes is that? Is it just 70 squared? 70 factorial? I'm too high to figure it out right now. Good job India!
posted by autodidact at 5:41 AM on November 9, 2008

Gungho: I'm not sure why you think it's a zero-sum game, or even, why you think the space-programme won't help poverty alleviation. Even ignoring how a meritocratic pursuit of science brought a generation of lower-middle-class students firmly into an upper-middle lifestyle (and, personally, this is a huuuuuge point to ignore, given that it was the way up for two generations of my extended family), remote-sensing technology is actually an extremely central part of the agricultural policy. India's IRS-1C was instrumental in measuring water precipitation and in demarking semi-arid and arid areas, so the Indian Council for Agricultural Research knew where to grow what crops, for example.

Telecommunications is another big reason to invest in satellite technology; as we've seen in many posts here on Mefi, there's a direct correlation between phone penetration and economic growth.

I'm not saying we're doing good in our United Nations Millennium Development Goals - lots of inconsistencies in food distribution, primary health and education - but I'd rather attack other allocations in the Budget such as defence than attack space.
posted by the cydonian at 7:04 AM on November 9, 2008 [2 favorites]

autodidact: Let's see if I remember my combinatorics correctly and can explain this in a qualitative manner. :-)

(I'm assuming each person shakes hands with another utmost once)

There are 70 people. Let's imagine each scientist takes a turn in standing in a designated spot, and all the other scientists go one after another to shake hands with her. Let's assume we start with scientist Ali; he would have a total of 69 handshakes in this iteration (coz there are 70 folks and he wouldn't shake hands with himself).

Now, next in turn would be Dr Bharati. You'd think she would shake hands 69 times, but no, she's already shaken hands with Ali before. So the total number of handshakes in this iteration is 68.

Then comes the next person, Dr Chandragupta Vikramaditya. He, in turn, would have to shake hands only 67 times, because we've already counted his handshakes with Bharati and Ali.

And this would continue; each person in each subsequent iteration would have to shake hands one less time than the previous one. So our total sum would look something along the following lines:

Total Number of handshakes = 69 + 68 + 67 + ... + 3 + 2 + 1

With me so far? Now, I'm a lazy person and hate to use technology to crack this summation. Instead, I notice a pattern in the series: I notice that if you take the first and last numbers in the series, they add up to 70 ( =69+1). In fact, this pattern works with the next two as well; 68 + 2 = 70. And with the next: 67 + 3 = 70. Among the 70 numbers listed above, there should be 35 such pairs if you take a number from the front and the back consecutively.

Our figure now becomes this:

Total number of handshakes = 70 * 35.

There you go. :-)
posted by the cydonian at 7:57 AM on November 9, 2008

Close but there are not 70 numbers listed above there are 69 & 69 is an odd number so that should be 70 * 34 plus the middle number which is 35 so 70 * 34 + 35 = (70 * 69) / 2.
posted by Wood at 8:39 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Flubbed the last bit. Late night out here. Let's do it again.
Mistake. Actually, because we're counting from 69 downwards, there would be _34_ such pairs that each adds up to 70, leaving us with an unpaired 35.

That is to say,

Total Number of handshakes = (69 +1) + (68 + 2) + (67 + 3) + ... + (36 + 34) + 35

Which, in turn, is this:
Total Number of handshakes = 70 * 34 + 35 [because there are 34 such pairs]

In general, to choose a 'r' "unordered" (ie, Ali + Bharati is the same as Bharati + Ali) combinations from a set of 'n' elements, the formula is:
nCr = n!/r! (n-r)!
where n! = n * (n-1) * (n-2) * ... 3 * 2 * 1

Here, this was 70C2 = 70! / (2! * 68!)

To find the sum of all numbers from 1 to 'n', the general formula (which I explained wrongly) is n(n+1) / 2. 'n' in our earlier case was 69.

Baaaaah. Was about to sleep, but couldn't coz something felt wrong in my earlier post. Here's the correction.
posted by the cydonian at 8:45 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Wood: Gosh, that was quick! Hoping someone nobody would notice the error before I posted the correction. I shall step away from the keyboard and sleep this very moment. Peace to y'all. :-)
posted by the cydonian at 8:46 AM on November 9, 2008

With the Indian and Chinese space programs heading for the moon, we can be assured some really awesome street food in Luna City.
posted by The Whelk at 10:37 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Very Proud to be an Indian. Amazing achivement.
posted by LG at 3:46 PM on November 10, 2008

Indian probe touches down on Moon
posted by homunculus at 2:27 PM on November 14, 2008

Indian probe touches down on Moon

Bravo India! w00t!!!
posted by nickyskye at 3:38 PM on November 14, 2008

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