"In November, India took the next step in their space program by launching their Mangalyaan Mars orbiter. The orbiter won't arrive for a while yet, but they've managed to get some public attention for a different reason: the fact that the entire mission costs only 75 million dollars, substantially less than the budget for the hit movie 'Gravity.'
While the question of wages is bound to come up (it was only 15% of the budget of the project), I think we can all agree that bringing down the cost of interplanetary space travel to a level attainable by the ultra-rich is a good step forward."
Yes, the R&D work, done by American, Russian, and ESA are a huge HUGE step up for India, as are the years of work developing the (now) off the shelf computers, and hardware that can be pressed into service for this task.
But as China found out recently when Jade Rabbit simply died with no definitive cause, getting off the ground, and, I dare say, getting landed is only a tiny portion of the problem.
We should wait and see if the Indian craft is still operational when it gets through a couple years worth of nice hard radiation. Will anything still work?
But I don't begrudge them the use of the technology and the knowledge hard won by the US and Russia for Mars missions. After all, is that not how it is supposed to work?
Mankind progresses not by re-inventing everything with each generation, but by building upon the works of the past with the knowledge gained in the past.
It would perhaps be better if India coordinated their efforts to fill voids in the systems already in place. After all another mediocre camera orbiting the planet may not be what is needed. Even by India.
But there is bound to be some meaningful way they can contribute to the world effort and get something of value in return.
except you can't really build off of previous work unless it is declassified and released to the public. space knowledge, even simple stuff, can not be exported to other countries, or published, without extremely harsh treatment from the u.s. govt.this is why you see very slim cooperation between esa, nasa, russian, space programs. it may look like cooperation from the outside, but everyone is absolutely restricted from sharing even simple data.there are documented basic interfaces between systems, which is how a russian rocket can launch an american satellite. but that's it for data sharing.
Quote: space knowledge, even simple stuff, can not be exported to other countries, or published, without extremely harsh treatment from the u.s. govt.
Now that is simply not true. NASA (and people who work for NASA) are one of the biggest publishers of scientific papers in multiple branches of science.
Seriously do you think the ISS would remain functional without massive cooperation and data sharing?
NASA's Policy is clearly spelled out:http://www.nasa.gov/open/plan/science-data-access. html [nasa.gov]http://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/earth-scienc e-data/data-information-policy/ [nasa.gov]
European Space Agency has just about all their Earth data on line:https://earth.esa.int/web/guest/data-access/how-to -access-eo-data/earth-observation-data-distributed -by-esa [esa.int]
Russia? Well, I don't read Russian so I can't comment.
well i should not have said 'simple stuff'. how about 'space stuff'. maybe i consider the classified stuff 'simple', which was incorrect.
i was not referring to published information. yes, of course, nasa publishes a lot of space data. do you have any idea how well that is scrutinized before it gets published? there are layers of people that have to sign off everything that gets published. so yes, the stuff that is published is 'space stuff' but well scrubbed.
the real 'meat' of space exploration is held tightly to the chest by everyone at nasa and other space companies. i've been in it and i've been through the export/publishing process. it's not fun and the real cool stuff is not released in any form. too bad, actually.
now the interface information can flow freely between countries and companies. i can say to russia, "we have 10 12mm bolts for you to connect to and here is their layout pattern and you tighten them to 20 ft/lbs". but, i can't tell them why we have 10 bolts. or why they're 12mm bolts. or why you need to tighten them to 20 ft/lbs. or why that particular layout pattern. it's quite maddening.
What?! So their Germans are better than our Germans?! ;)