[BangPypers] Congratulations to India for Landing on the Moon!

Pradeep Gowda pradeep at change-congress.org
Mon Nov 17 08:11:48 CET 2008


On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 1:29 AM, Anand Balachandran Pillai
<abpillai at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 15, 2008 at 4:59 AM, Deepak Thukral <iapain at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>> A job well done!
>>> (It is unknown whether Python was running onboard ;-)
>>
>> ISRO is in stone age as far as Computer Technology is concern (Their portal only works in IE6 and written in creepy html). I think they are toiling with C, Fortran & JAVA. Probably they should inherit Python/Erlang from NASA/ESA. Hoping their new GIS Keyhole like webapp will use Python.
>>
>
> Don't confuse the lack of sophistication of their website with any lack of
> sophistication in engineering. Space & rocket science/engineering is a much more
> complex and delicate affair than typical software engineering. ISRO develops
> and uses complex software for mission control which is not exactly
> akin to developing a website - it is much more difficult to get right.
>
> Even if your website crashes, perhaps you might loose data or a few visitors
> and lose some uptime. However, this is not the case with the software used
> in space science. Everything has to work and work perfectly. Remember that
> simple software glitches have often caused entire rocket missions to be aborted.
> This has happened even for mighty NASA. The most recent one I can think of
> is the glitch with VxWorks that happened in one of their Mars rovers
> which caused
> the system software to reboot itself many times.
>
> In fact ISRO has done a splendid job managing to put a satellite to Moon
> orbit and also perform a moon impact all in the very first attempt. Recall that
> Russia and U.S.A have had several crash lands and aborted attempts in their
> moon missions. The quality control at ISRO has to be pretty damn good.
>
> I read a few articles about the images from Chandrayaan and it seems the
> camera they have is top-class. The images it has send are already pretty good,
> and it is perhaps the first moon satellite to carry a 3D (Terrain
> mapping) camera.
> I don't think any single moon (or perhaps earth) satellite is a classic example
> of international co-operation. Chandrayaan carries 11 payloads.
>
> To me, it looks like India is leading the way in international space
> co-operation.
> ISRO needs a big pat on the back for what they have done.

Thanks Anand for a very nice summary of the project's accomplishments.
I have been reading  stories about Chandrayaan online, but yours has
captured the essential accomplishments.

+PG


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