Is the Mars mission “unaffordable” for India?

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Every time the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announces a new outer space mission,  a cry is raised—from a segment typically identified only as “critics”—about the “unaffordability” of such missions for a “poor” country like India.  Here is a typical example:

Critics of the Indian Mars mission wondered whether the country can afford huge costs for this space voyage.

As usual the critics are not identified, and the criticism is in terms of a fuzzy notion of “huge” costs. (Un)fortunately for the critics, a simple check of publicly available statistics would have been enough to allay fears of unaffordability.



“भगवान” रजनीश

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मेरे ही शहर में कॉलेज में एक अध्यापक थे। उन्होंने अपने नेम-प्लेट पर खुद ही ‘आचार्य’
लिखवा लिया था। मैं तभी समझ गया था कि इस फूहड़पन में महानता के लक्षण हैं।
आचार्य बंबईवासी हुए और वहाँ उन्होने अपने को ‘भगवान रजनीश’ बना डाला। आजकल
वह फूहड़ से शुरु करके मान्यता प्राप्त भगवान हैं।

— हरिशंकर परसाई, “विकलांग श्रद्धा का दौर”


Dawkinsia Singhala

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<i>Dawkinsia Singhala<i>

Dawkinsia Singhala, by Rohan Pethiyagoda.
(Click on the image to view the full size version)

A Portable Network Graphics (PNG) version of Rohan Pethiyagoda’s fascinating photograph.

“It is not that we shoul…

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“It is not that we shouldn’t believe in fairies. It is just that we shouldn’t be satisfied with such mundane ones.

From the web comic Calamities of Nature, for March 12, 2012.

May honour forever elude you, O hunter……

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Although I have been a sporadic visitor to Kavita Kosh for quite sometime now, it was only today that I noticed their “motto”: मा निषाद प्रतिष्ठाम. Now it turns out I knew just enough Sanskrit to be completely mystified by this; since it translates to “O hunter, may you never be deemed honorable”.   Why would a poetry collection have this curse as a motto? A quick Google Search was in order.