Saturday, August 04, 2012

STOP PRESS ! Mars sends a satellite to learn about the Earth....

News has just come in about the Union cabinet giving its nod to India's first umnanned mission to Mars. The whole idea is to be in an orbit close to Mars and conduct scientific experiments that reveal something about the geology, the climate and so on about Mars. The cost? A  piddling  70 to 90million US dollars.  Ever since the scams happened  the perception has changed, although we may be unsure of the number of zeros....

The mission to Mars may commence in 2013, or 2014, and if that doesn't work out for whatever reasons, the the next dates possible are in 2016 or 2018. And whats more, the 2016 mission might be manned (or womaned ?)...! (And no , applications are NOT invited, there will be no centralized selection test, and you cannot go on a fast)

At this point , one remembers the Chandrayan , unmanned mission to the moon, that happened a few years ago and was lauded because it found water and a  "protective magnetic field" on the moon.

I wonder if we can launch some kind of satellites, to simply hover around India, and tell us something about the climate, water and geology .  I know there may already be such satellites; but clearly , like our ministers ,they are not doing what they should

I even wonder sometimes, if we actually see the negative ( in the old photographic sense)  of the actual picture from the satellites, and do not realize it.  Because our meteorological folks simply keep on getting things wrong. A normal monsoon prediction changes to a drought in a matter of 2 months. 

It might actually be interesting to think about some other planet, say Mars,  sending a satellite to hover around the Earth, and specifically India . And it would be more than interesting to speculate on what they would see. 

Lights going on and off across half the country, as if in some celebration. Studies would later indicate that it was because of power thievery, losses in transmission and distribution.

And those collecting the information via the satellite would be aghast to see that  these same 3 things keep happening everywhere all the time.  Powers of ministers change officially even in the subcontinental dark.   Transmission losses and dicey distribution, per se, will be observed as routine  things, happening in all walks of life.

Not only will the analyzing  satellites observe our water, but they will observe how we alter the flows, sometimes by building huge dams, sometimes by simply discharging industrial muck into it, and sometimes, deliberately, by guiding it into canals, so certain power agriculturists benefit at the cost of entire cities.  They will also observe, how fields on the banks of some of the big rivers are slowly giving way to huge townships, and fancy expressways.

It might be also possible to notice floods  in some parts of the country, and folks checking  the satellite photos might simply wonder at the logic of powerful folks in helicopters  flying around trying to see the floods, as  ordinary types congregate in relief camps pointlessly expecting relief.

The geological observations , particularly in the south and east, would reveal amazing things like entire mountains being dug up, packed into trucks, and surreptitiously sold as mineral ore, as various power plants struggle with their meagre supply of coal.

Way up north, they would notice icy glaciers, where they would observe folks with weapons and flags, making do with substandard stuff and still winning , because that's what they were issued and that's what they were trained to do. And the satellite fellows would wonder about folks in a different uniform sneaking in through mountain passes and tunnels.

It would be amazing to see the  sea near Mumbai all agitated given the fact that it was being displaced by some folks trying to push it back and claiming the land for themselves. A Satellite view of various hills in and around Mumbai-Pune being emptied of trees to build hill stations would probably teach the satellite fellows a thing or two. And they would be totally perplexed to see that ten miles away from such places with Jacuzzis and infinite pools,  a line of village women could be trudging up and down across hills, with pots to collect drinking water for their daily use.

And of course, they would be amused at the number of towers sprouting up across the land, which they will learn , is for the cell phone folks.  And just within a mile of that there would be this locked up, collapsing schoolhouse with rusted windows, and an empty water tap hissing air. Flying a bit closer and they would capture images of folks carrying their sick and aged through hell and high water to reach the nearest ill equipped rural health care centre 10 miles away, because proper roads didn't seem to exist.

But the most amazing thing noted would be the number of bipeds, walking around tapping on small and big keyboards, wires in their ears, falling like garlands around their necks, side by side with visions of old chaps , in houses, sitting with rectangular maps , discussing, planets and unions of two families , and saying how Mars was causing all the problems.

Clearly the guys trying to learn from satellite observations would be confused, to say the least.   Such a let down , when their bosses  spent so much of their planets money, sending satellites into orbit to study what they saw on Earth. 

And then they would, just out of curiosity, check about the science of forecasting via planets.  Like they saw folks on the Earth doing.

Guys in green, antennas on elongated heads, pouring over charts.

And one of the big chaps would look up, clear his super long throat , shake is head, fold up his antennas, and announce, " We need to call off this project. Earth is malefic.  Won't work for us ...."   



  1. When Gappa choses to chronicle our times, fireworks are a forgone conclusion. But these fireworks tend to expose the ugly and nasty deeds of the bipeds in all their nakedness. You leave us in no doubt about the hearts of sage-like Martians who decide to pull the plug on the 'malefic' Earth.

  2. I often wonder why is it that we cannot NEVER work on utilising existing energy. Wind power, solar power... for more day-to-day causes.

    We have floods in one part and drought in another part of the SAME country. Why can't we use the water from one place to help the drought in the other? I agree it sounds easy in theory...but seriously, this has been happening for decades! I can't believe no one has thought of this possibility at all !!
    How can they?? They are too busy destroying what is already there, instead of trying to resurrect and preserve.. :-/