23 August 2023

Successful landing

Congratulations to the Indian Space Research Organisation on the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 about an hour ago.  This makes India the fourth country to achieve a Lunar landing, and is the first such landing at the Moon's south pole.  A solar-powered rover will be deployed shortly.  The whole mission has a budget of $73 million, quite modest by the standards of modern space exploration.  It's the latest sign of India's rising position on the world scene.  More here.


Blogger Marc McKenzie said...

Congrats to India (where my father's family has roots!) for this. It is a big deal.

And next year is the manned Artemis II mission which will take astronauts to lunar orbit for the first time since 1972.

23 August, 2023 11:58  
Blogger NickM said...

Well done India! It must be a bit of a kick in the knackers for Putin considering how (the already bowdlerized - due to sanctions they couldn't get the kit for a rover) Luna-25 going completely arse over tit. Perhaps that's why he had to take out his rage on his former best bud Prigozhin... Let's face it, Putin would be unbeslievable as the Big Bad in a Roger Moore era Bond movie. I suspect he has anger-management issues. He was only mid-ranking in the KGB and has a tragic comb-over.

Now, who are the four countries? USA, USSR, China, India... Haven't ESA landed on the Moon? It would appear not which is sort of a surprise. Having said that I'm really more interested in JUICE. I have long suspected that the moons of Jupiter (and Saturn) are the really interesting things in the Solar System. Elon Musk can have Mars for what that's worth which apart from the view over Valles Marineris (which must be stunning) amounts to bugger all.

BY the way... You know we've all been lied to about Mars. Kinda, sort of... Since Viking we've only seen images that have been jazzed up a bit. Mars is much darker if you were actually there. Think an overcast 4pm in November. So, apart from an unbreathable pathetic excuse for an atmosphere, 39% gravity, toxic soil, constant radiation exposure, the company of Elon (he'd bring a guitar - you just know he would) you'd also have Seasonal Affective Disorder to put up with. And people think Matt Damon had it rough...

You do know why the US carried out the Apollo missions? They first contracted Stanley Kubrick to fake them but he was such the perfectionist he insisted they were shot on location...

24 August, 2023 07:50  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Marc: Certainly a big deal.

I continue to believe, though, that sending humans into space is a bad idea. It's expensive, dangerous, and serves no valid scientific purpose.

NickM: I have to admit I wasn't too surprised when the Russian mission malfunctioned, after all that the war has revealed about their technology and engineering.

Different countries seem to specialize in different things. The ESA has landed a probe on a comet, which was impressive. I hope we do get a more comprehensive look at some of those oceanic moons in the outer solar system, but the distances there are really enormous. Still, I'm sure someone will eventually do it.

I've heard it said that in 1969 we just barely had the technology to carry out a manned landing on the Moon -- but we didn't have the technology to fake one.

25 August, 2023 01:08  
Blogger NickM said...

That is probs very true about 1960s TV technology but the Hell with that! What about the money? How many people were NASA going to have to pay off? The Russians for starters but God knows how many workers at aerospace companies, TV, and press* and it goes on. It means paying off everyone who ever studied astrophysics in the last 50-odd years. Hand on heart Infidel, I don't get a monthly cheque from NASA. Nah, they leave me a quarterly allowance of Triskelian Quatloos under a specific round the back of the post office.

But back to the tech... In the next coupla years Artemis will land folks on the Moon and we do have the tech to fake it. I am already sharpening Occam's Razor for that one. Because I was born in 1973, just after Apollo so this is a total new one for me and one to look forward to but there shall be a backlash of the tin foil hatters. I'm also going to enjoy that as a guilty pleasure. I know it is wrong to revel in the utter pignorance of others but what else can you do? I went to school with a girl who only discovered the Earth wasn't flat whilst trying to get an A-Level in Geology. I really would like to know what makes folks like that tick. I asked her if she'd seen a globe. Her reply was in the affirmative but she thought the map of our planet was presented sometime presented in spherical form because it was "pretty".

*My Dad watched Apollo 11 live on TV and he was in Zambia at the time! It was also watched by radio telescopes in Australia. That is a full A-Z global conspiracy! Oh, Hell! Just seen Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones get out of a car. They're wearing dark suits and shades. I guess I shouldn't have mentioned the Quatloos...

25 August, 2023 02:52  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Oh, the idea of the Moon landings being faked doesn't deserve any consideration at all. It requires far too many impossibilities. I just remembered the thing about being advanced enough to do it but not advanced enough to fake it, because it was funny.

As for Artemis landing humans on the Moon again, well, I'll believe it when I see it. Actually doing that would be a huge waste of money we have better uses for, and given the potential for endangering human life, any technical glitch that emerges would mean years of delay.

25 August, 2023 23:04  

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