Chandrayaan 3- ISRO's AMAZING RISE | Fuelling India's Scientific Temper | Akash Banerjee & Avishrant
It was Vikram Sarabhai's vision in the 1950s to make India a world leader in space programmes To make that dream come true, India needed own space organization - which was not a priority for the then govt Understandable because at that time there were serious problems like famine, poverty and enemies at the border ... international community was skeptical of our success Despite all the odds, Vikram Sarabhai continued to set up a team of scientists and a rocket launching station in South Kerala From small town of Thumba - India launched first rocket in 1963 and that initiated our space exploration journey Cut to 2008 ... ISRO our very own space agency launches Chandrayaan-1 The world was surprised to see a nation that once transported rocket parts on cycle, now aiming for the Moon After this success, a mission to Mars was planned and Chandrayaan-2 later Then a world record was set to launch most satellites in a rocket - which remained unbroken for 4 years ISRO has launched 177 foreign satellites from 19 nations in 5 yrs and has become a trusted partner On 14 July, 2023 ISRO successfully launched the Chandrayaan-3 Lakhs saw the event live On one hand, ISRO is setting new milestones while on the other hand - India's scientific reputation is declining ... with less funding there is less research papers ISRO is working upon cryogenic engine technology, despite sanctions ... but DRDO is unable to provide drones, anti aircraft missile or fighter jet engines - and so we buy these for huge sums of money Scientific temper is eroding from schools as well ... can ISRO's stellar success with Chandrayaan-3 guide us towards scientific reasoning and curiosity?
Can we regain our scientific temper? With increase in scientific thinking, we not only decrease our dependency on others but also save tons of money at the same time Scientists abroad have lost their hair wondering how ISRO is able to make such economically viable space missions Have a look at this graph to understand what I mean... NASA's mission to Mars cost $671 million USD whereas India's Mangalyaan cost only $ 74 million USD Chandrayaan-3 will land a rover on Moon and costs 650 crore rupees which is close to the budget of Adipurush If ISRO will keep succeeding at low cost ... scientists from other countries will lose hair out of stress They cannot be helped ... but if you're balding and losing hair - Traya can help you out Youngsters are dealing with hair loss and balding in 20s and 30s for many internal reasons such as lifestyle, diet, stress, etc.
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Chandrayaan-1 was launched in 2008 its missing being to survey the lunar surface for minerals and chemicals Study chemical composition and create 3D topography of near and far side of the moon Because of technical issues, mission was inactive for 2 years but then in the next year it worked and completed 95% of its objectives Chandrayaan-1 deliberately crashed an impactor probe on south pole of the Moon Impactor probe collected data in the crash and discovered water in ice form on the lunar surface The next mission was Chandrayaan-2 whose goal was soft landing on the Moon and study the results of Chandrayaan-1 on the surface But soft landing on Moon is not easy task ... launch of Chandrayaan-2 was a success but landing disappointed scientists After 1.5 month journey ... Vikram lander of the Chandrayaan-2 could not reduce its initial speed as it approached lunar surface and deviated from the set trajectory Due to a software glitch, contact with ISRO is also lost before touchdown and lander crashed At that time, a video of ISRO chief K Sivan being consoled by PM Modi went viral as the lander crashed But ISRO did not give up after that failure A committee was set up to detect the cause of failure and some changed are now made in Chandrayaan-3 so that launch and landing are both successful Current ISRO chairman S. Somanath said that Chandrayaan-2 adopted success based design approach while Chandrayaan-3 has failure based design
Anything that may be a cause of failure has been double checked and corrected Chandrayaan-3 successfully launched on 14 July after many upgrades and safety features installed Like its predecessor, Chandrayaan-3 is also launched on ISRO's most powerful rocket - GSLV 3 or LVM3 Chandrayaan-3 has 3 missions ... soft landing and deployment of rover The rover will study lunar surface, collect samples and send back to earth Propulsion module will carry the lander and rover configuration until the spacecraft is in a 100 km lunar orbit Propulsion module will act like a relay satellite, because landing is on south side of the moon from where a direct communication is not possible Vikram lander will touchdown in August and Pragyan rover will be deployed, and India will again make a mark as the first country to soft land on south side of moon if all goes well Remember, India is also the first nation to successfully reach Mars in first attempt But the question is, what is the importance of landing on the south pole region? Americans reached the moon 50 yrs ago then why are scientists interested today in studying the south side of the Moon? Why are they eagerly waiting for information by Chandrayaan-3? Because lunar south is permanently in the shadows ... sun's rays don't reach there, and that is why there may be lunar ice and research suggests molecules of water There are small as well as large 13 km deep craters here - studying these will help know the early stages of solar system America is keenly observing Chandrayaan-3 as their Artemis crewed mission will land on the lunar south too They are waiting for data as well as possible challenges faced while landing The cost of Artemis project is $93 billion USD, while the cost of Artemis - 1 alone, whose job is revolving around the moon, is $ 4 billion USD While Chandrayaan 3 will revolve as well as land in just $80 million USD - which is nothing in comparison to American project costs Have other countries tried before if studying lunar south is so important? Israel attempted to land there but failed ... so it's very difficult to succeed with the technology available All landings thus far were on equatorial region near side ... as topography here is relatively smooth, sunlight in abundance and temperature is desirable for instruments
On the contrary, the south side is completely in the dark and temperature reaches -230 degree Celsius and risky deep craters exist Working of an instrument here becomes too difficult Vikram lander and Pragyan rover will work for only 1 lunar day or 14 earth days ... it is not designed to work in the lunar night We are all proud of ISRO's scientific achievements and I remember seeing the launch of Chandrayaan-1 LIVE as a reporter ... it was a moment of great pride But today, there are two Indias when it comes to sciences On one hand, ISRO's achievements and on the other hand gravitating towards superstitions ISRO is launching satellites of other nations and making huge sums of money and respect, while DRDO is losing both CAG pulled up DRDO for the delay in completion of projects of national security and overrunning costs This delay is not in terms of months ... but years Anti tank guided missile HELINA, for example, was supposed to be completed in 2010 ... but first successful test was done in 2022
Second example of a project given by defense ministry in 2011 ... medium altitude long endurance vehicles The initial completion date was set around 2016 ... but deferred to 2020 and then three yrs later to August 2023 CAG told in their report that because of lack of these drones, our aerial surveillance is weak. The project cost was also increased.
India may acquire 31 US drones from America for USD 3 billion as a result ... the negotiations are still on 119 of 175 projects are delayed and extension as much as 5 times sought for some projects Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State for Defence, told in Parliament 23 of 55 mission mode projects are delayed Crucial projects are delayed Minister also said that the cost of 12 of 55 projects had escalated Sanctioned cost of 55 project was 75,000 crores ... now imagine how much cost overrun will be if they are delayed, and the disadvantage our forces have to face There is also a setback in semiconductor industry as Foxconn withdrew from chip plan with Vedanta From smartphone to satellite, semiconductors are used everywhere But we are dependent on others for this essential electronic component - we import 90% of our semiconductor requirements However, in 1987 India was just two years behind the latest chip manufacturing tech ... today we are 12 generations behind, for a plethora of reasons Semiconductor complex limited was using cutting edge tech in 1984 for chip manufacturing ... China and Taiwan had not even entered this market yet
In 1989 the plant burned down and the govt did not make an attempt to revive it, which cost a lot in our semiconductor journey ISRO understood importance of SCL and revived it for their chip requirement If the govt had revived the plant, we won't be depending on others for semiconductors Today, Taiwan and China have become major players in chip manufacturing We slipped to the bottom because of our own mistakes - DRDO, HAL and semiconductors - one can see that we lack in defense and chip manufacturing Same is the case with scientific temper and research and development For last 20 yrs, the target was to use 2% of GDP for R&D ... but it's getting reduced instead As per dept of science and technology, R&D allotment has fallen from 0.76% in 2011 to 0.64% in 2020 In budget 2023, 0.36% was allotted to ministry of science and technology whereas China, that is always in the mood for snatching land, allotted 2.40% towards scientific developments - now figure who will speed up in the sciences UNESCO science report 2021 shows that China filed for 16 lakh patents while we did for nearly 62,000 only One can understand scientific progress by the no. of journals published - China published 10 lakh in 2022 while India not even 3 lakh Govt has to understand that without spending money on R&D, without promoting scientific temperament, without encouraging indigenous capabilities - we cannot move forward - not every agency is self motivated like ISRO Will we always depend on other countries for defense technology? What about self reliance dream? We do point Nehru's mistakes but forget one of his qualities - his trust in science and technology Nehru was quick to understand the importance of science In 1961, Nehru handed over responsibilities of space research to department of atomic energy, whose secretary was Homi Bhabha Homi Bhabha set up INCOSPAR the next yr under the chairmanship of Vikram Sarabhai INCOSPAR became ISRO in a few yrs ... and in a few months from now Chandrayaan-3 Vikram lander will touch lunar surface We at The Deshbhakt hope that this fills us all with pride and make us fans of science, not of superstitions ~subscribe and press bell icon~ Thanks to Traya for making this episode possible ... write what you think about it, and get a free hair test from Traya, avail customized kit
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