Saturday, January 21, 2006

India Reaching For The Stars Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
(Hat Tip: Mars Blog)

Desiring not to be left out of the upcoming space race, India has decided to take its place in the Universe by reaching out towards Earth's nearest neighbor--and to a distant one as well.

( News) After the moon mission, India wants to reach out to Mars and the government is keen to jump onto a possible global bandwagon for this potentially exciting planetary exploration.

Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman G Madhavan Nair said the United States and Europe appear to favour a global partnership in this context, and India would be more than willing to be a partner in this huge exercise.

India is one of the world's largest nation, with about one and six people living within the Asian sub-continent. It is surprising that a nation this large has not already engaged in space travel (as its Chinese "neighbor" has).

The first step for India is the moon, although right now the nation is trying to decide whether to send robots or humans to the lunar surface.

( News) "It's not a question of shying away. Whether we need it (manned mission to moon) immediately or not; that debate is going on. Opinion is truly divided. Some people believe the instruments themselves are more than adequate.

Robots can do the job and so on. A few others believe it (manned mission) is a national pride and we should do it. We are also subjecting this for an internal review as well as in various professional bodies. Maybe in the course of a year, we will have better clarity on that (whether or not India should go for a manned mission)," he said.

Although robots would definitely be cheaper, India should seriously consider sending one of their own instead as it would establish the nation as a space power.

Robots and other machinery can take photos of the rugged landscape, but unless they make a footprint on the world, they may only become a footnote in the space history books.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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