Monday, August 31, 2009

I was one among the many people who watched with interest as India took its first steps into hitherto uncharted territory in nearly 60 years of its independence. India's first unmanned mission into space, to the Moon precisely, was something of a dream for many who had assumed that such achievements were only limited to developed countries and the fact that Chandrayaan-I is indigenous is only even more impressive.

It was launched on October 22,2008 from the Satish Dhawan space centre, Sriharikota, Nellore district,Andhra Pradesh. The Moon Impact Probe (MIB) impacted the moon in November 2008 and India became one of the few countries which have achieved the feat of sending a spacecraft to the moon. The project leader for the Chandrayaan-I mission was Dr.Mylsamy Annadurai ( Imporant point please note : He is a Cancerian by the way just like me :P )

The mission objectives of Chandrayaan included analysis of the mineralogical composition of the moon among many others. It sent over 70,000 images of the moon before finally losing contact with Earth on August 29th,2009 due to failure of the star sensor. The mission came to a premature end in ten months instead of the expected two years but according to Mr.Annadurai, it completed 90-95% of its mission objectives. India's mission to the Moon may not be the newest thing in recent space advancements but it is certainly something that should make each and every Indian proud.

What is also heartening is the fact that India is already planning to send Chandrayaan-2 which will consist of a landing craft and a rover expected to have a life span of a month and there is even talk about a first Mars mission in 2012-2015. Hopefully I ll be a part of this interesting field within then.

Talking about shuttles and space on the other side of the world, the shuttle Discovery was launched a few days back. I was not keeping any tabs on the launches that NASA would be making and so I was pleasantly surprised to see news about the launch in the paper.

There was a picture too, a beautiful one of the shuttle taking off and I could imagine myself in the shuttle, strapped to my seat, the high G forces holding you down, the incredible rattling and finally the best part of it all.. to be able to see the Earth a giant blue ball suspended in vaccum with seemingly no support at all.. One day soon.. If not today then tomorrow is always there :)

Until next time,

Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world. . . .
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.

Alfred Lord Tennyson, 'Ulysses,' 1842.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

The last month has been quite hectic. My GRE preparation and assessments and everything else kept me quite busy, which is why I could not write any posts for so long. A few of my assessments were good and few very bad but if there is one thing I am happy about for the previous month its my GRE scores. Got 1460 which I think is a pretty decent score and I have started my application process and I am sort of excited about the whole thing.

On the other hand,I started my preparation for the next exam and its not going so good. I performed horribly in one of the easiest mock CAT tests I took recently and the worst part is I messed up even verbal which irritates the hell out of me and they say this is a time when you have to start consolidating and improving your percentiles. My percentiles seems to be dropping down with each test I write which is scary and frustrating.

Placements are another story altogether. Thank God there is a lull in the schedule or else I would have only ended up getting even more depressed if I had not been able to do well in the placements. So many people keep asking me why I have to do so many things at one time. And my answer usually is that I do not want to lose out on any opportunities and this answer sometimes rings true and sometimes sounds so hollow to even my own heart. And I still am trying to find out whether I am the "Don't- lose-opportunities" type or "Too- scared- to- risk- everything- for- one- goal" type..

Until next time,

"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return. "- Leonard da Vinci