Welcome to the Space Age, Bharat!

07th September, 2019. The day will be definitely etched in the minds of Indians and the world. At a cost of ₹ 978 crores, the Chandrayaan – II, the lunar lander Vikram, which is scheduled to soft land on the dark side of the moon or the south pole after separating from the Chandrayaan – II Orbiter on entering the lunar orbit and the lunar rover Pragyaan, which is set to be deployed from the belly of Vikram after it lands on the dark side of the moon and conduct experiments using AI for a period of one lunar cycle or fourteen days, is absolutely unfathomable and impossible to any other country including USA and Russia, the pioneers of the space race.

In fact no other country has managed to land on the dark side of the moon. The reason as was explained by our scientists from ISRO is that to land on the South Pole the orbit should be a precise 90° and it is difficult to achieve such precision due to various external factors. As they said its easy to land anywhere else on the moon and may be that is why none of the other countries tried to land in that spot. And our scientists chose to try what everyone else couldn’t dare to try.

Not only that for the Chandrayaan – II to achieve the precise lunar orbit as it left the Earth’s orbit was in itself a maneauver requiring the exact amount of boost and trajectory without going off target even by a miniscule point, as the implications of being a single point off target meant the entire project would have gone off the rails. That they could achieve that speaks volumes about the preparation and readiness of these excellent scientists. The most unbelievable thing about this entire project, an apect as Indians we so dearly love, the movie Avataar was made on a budget almost twice that of Chandrayaan – II at a cost of ₹ 1600 and odd crores. That speaks volumes about the efficacy of our scientists. They are the true heroes in this mammoth undertaking of ours.

The Space programs in the US set of a boom in its economy, advancements in the field of science, medicine, technology and defence. There is something very magnetic about Space. We have as a race for all our technological advancements always been fascinated by Space. The reasons might be many. As space both scares and mocks us at the same time. The infinite space and the feeling of just being a tiny speck in the midst of humungous darkness and yet the magnetic pull to understand and the thrill it gives to learn about that infinite space.

Our Hindu scriptures are ripe with knowledge about different constellations and different planets and their effects on us. The “Panchangam” is all about the planetary positions and how they can be beneficial for a certain auspicious ceremony or ritual. We as a community have always been enamoured about space and have tried to understand it. We have scriptures explaining a lot about this but how did we come about all this knowledge, when the Space Age as we know began with the Russians in 1959, when they landed their first unmanned rocket on the moon. It took almost 10 years after that for the US to take the credit of the first manned mission to the moon.

The liberals in us might call it hogwash and superstitious beliefs. But then they will always find ways to disown their culture. They can’t deny this achievement though. The first lunar landing on the dark side of the moon. We have taken time to get there but we sure did and with a bang. Now we will surely see a rise in the way the world perceives us but more than that it will inspire the youth of this country to aim for the space. There will now be a boom that is set to be heard across the world as the lunar lander, Vikram sets its foot on the moon. There is no better inspiration than to see the success of these talented scientists, technical and non-technical staff, who all contributed in their own way, from my country achieving a humungous feat at a price that all other countries can only dream of. As we would always like to say the best and the most economical, made famous by a Maruti advertisement dialogue, “Mileage kitna deta hain?” during the briefing of a rocket launch.

Our scientists have truly proven their worth and mettle and so did all the other people, who were involved in various other capacities and we as a country salute you all. The fascination has now picked up momentum and that augurs well for the future of our country and its children. Now instead of faking to capture the moon in the palm of our hand or pointing at the distant moon while trying to lull babies into eating, we can actually show them the moon up close. That is the significance of this achievement. We have just set ourselves to finally understand the universe and space around us. Our attraction to the darkness around us will finally see some light as we scale further peaks in understanding it and as we are understanding it may be we will find the answers of how we got the knowledge of the space and Universe in our scriptures in the first place. The first step towards that understanding begins as Vikram sets its foot on Moon.

The possibilities are many but one thing is certain, we have announced our knowledge and skills to the world and now we need to back that up by improving in all fields. Because now we have reached the moon and the space is just ready to be discovered and marvelled at. That can only happen if we have a strong economy and a willing country. Now is the time to participate in this growth story my dear brothers and sisters as we aim for the space and the stars beyond them. Let us all contribute in our own way to this success story. Whether it’s by standing united or sticking to our principles! Whether it is by fighting with the dividers and the fear mongerers.

Let us all in one voice drown out the cacophony of negativity in the boom of positivity as we make our own little contributions. Remember, a country is it’s people and now is the time we let the world know, what the sons and daughters of Bharat are made of. Let us all join hands as we welcome the new Bharat. A Bharat which is looking to go to infinity and beyond. A Bharat whose children are inspired by the achievements of their parents and are in awe of our advancements. A Bharat which now says, Mars landing through Mangalyaan – II and manned mission to the Moon through Chandrayaan – III, here we come!

Jai Hind.

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