The space is an arcane wonder. The phenomenon of levitation defying gravity beyond a hundred miles above and the extreme cases of extreme gravity somewhere far away – all exist in the space. Though the fascination seems to have been brewing since the time of our initial existence, sending unmanned or manned vehicles outside our planet have been possible only in the last several decades.
The USA has claimed before the humanity that we have seen the Moon from the top of its surface. And the same country is now struggling to put astronauts into the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) or to bring them back. Rather it depends on Russian rocket to help do this. It is another matter that America is funding an unfavourable state, looking at the current relation between two countries, with a whopping amount for each trip to the International Space Station (ISS), the only habitable artificial satellite orbiting around the Earth at present.
Interestingly, USA does look for cheaper alternative for spaceship launch; and they are grooming a growing private business ecosystem in this domain. However, the failure of Falcon 9 in its seventh trip to ISS has forced all stakeholders to rethink. The event brings up two critical questions too.
Did we forget the rocket engineering know-hows after great strides earlier? Or, reliability is getting a lower priority against cost in the process of ongoing technological innovations? Everybody then should look at ISRO as their role model; after all, they have a definite story to tell now – about achieving success in such projects with significantly reduced cost.
Why are we relying on an endgame-styled model – the situation where the spaceship’s first mission is always the last? Can we not have a definite plan to build reusable vehicles? If yes, expedite it.
Good news is that the courageous inhabitants at ISS will not go hungry as they have supplies until October, and cargo vehicles from other space agencies will reach there well before any such crisis. In fact, Russian Progress cargo ship has reached space – into the right orbit and is safe now, as per announcement from NASA earlier today. Luckily, Russians did not place their cargo ship elsewhere in the orbit like they did in April.
Looking forward to more pictures of my native place from the space; like Terry W. Virts, an astronaut from NASA, had posted earlier – in fact, during those days when the Daru for Lord Jagannath was to be obtained in the district of Jagatsinghpur (read more about this event in one of my earlier blog posts) – the stormy sky was vivid. And also the seductive night sky of the Eastern India. Well, all from the top – the space!