back to article RED planet, INDIAN mission: Space probe prepares for voyage to Mars orbit

UPDATE: Our latest coverage on the Mangalyaan mission, which has now launched, is here. India's delayed Mars mission is on the countdown for launch, and barring further delays or mishaps, will begin its trip on Tuesday, November 5, from a southern coastal island near Chennai. The Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission probe) was …


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  1. Winkypop Silver badge

    No jokes about offshoring


    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: No jokes about offshoring MUST....RESIST......OFFSHORING.....(twitching)....GAGS!!! MUST!!!.....RESIST!!!!.....CHEAP!!!!!......OFFSHORING!!!!!!!....NNNNOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

      Q: So why do Indian outsourcers bring in Martians for U.S. datacenter security?

      A: Because they heard that makes it easy to get green guards.

      (I'm so ashamed....)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No jokes about offshoring

        What is there to joke about, doubtless along with all the scientific instruments will be a telecommunications satellite.

        This way the Martians will be also be able to benefit from Indian call centres ........

        1. ian 22

          Re: No jokes about offshoring

          If I read the article correctly, the Indians are off shoring call centre operations to NASA!

  2. Steve Knox
    Thumb Up

    On the shoulders...

    Any mission to Mars in this day and age stands on a lot of shoulders:

    The list also serves to illustrate another important point. While developing the mission in that timeframe with that budget is an achievement in itself, it may be best to hold our applause. We as a species have a very inconsistent success rate with Mars missions: many spectacular failures, some successes, and a few missions that exceeded expectations.

    Here's hoping India's Mangalyaan finds its way into one of the last two groups.

  3. Thorne

    Why am I not supprised.....

    "to prove that India has the technological ability to get to Mars"

    Ah so it's not about the science, just a pissing contest......

    1. iRadiate

      Re: Why am I not supprised.....

      Perhaps. Then again they may get some science done and at the same time piss all over a few first world countries I could mention that spend their time standing on the sidelines with no aspirations of their own. Personally I'd love it if my country entered the passing game but we're too busy spending out money on bailing out bankers. When we do spend large amounts of money it will be to shave a few minutes off journey times between London and Birmingham.

    2. John Bailey

      Re: Why am I not supprised.....

      "Ah so it's not about the science, just a pissing contest......"


      But be fair. So was Americans going to the moon.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: not about the science, just a pissing contest......

      It's about both: it's a scientific pissing contest!:-)

      1. CmdrX3

        Re: not about the science, just a pissing contest......

        Piss away, if India can do a successful 18 month turnaround of a Mars mission from announcement to launch it a. gives rise to the question about why the fuck NASA with all their technological might takes so long to do a mission and b. Gives hope for the reality of the Mars One plan. To be fair though, at least NASA is a reality, as I still don't believe Mars One will happen because it's just a pipe dream but I hope I'm wrong.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: not about the science, just a pissing contest......

          NASA can do it, it's just that it's budget and plans aren't decided by scientists or even managers (who are implied to know SOMETHING about that which they manage) but purely by politics. Politics and bullshitting between politicians. NASA has lacked focus and drive after the Apollo program shut down purely because it hasn't been given a consistant goal.

          Looking at all the different fields NASA is active in, its still getting an amazing amount of science and development done. But because there is so much sway in what the politicians think NASA should be doing, there is a lot of "startup, development, shutdown" happening that means a lot of promising research is left on the cut-backs spreadsheet.

          If the US goverment were to tell NASA tomorrow to: "Get to mars, design and build us a new everything just for this purpose", they could do it. Pretty fast too probably.

  4. Jellied Eel Silver badge

    Traditonal date for launching rockets

    November 5th. Although not in India, unless it's become part of Diwali. But good on India. We've been busy navel gazing and whining about potential resource shortages and India looks up for a solution.

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    PLSV? What rocket is this?

    Only India has a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

    Despite it's everything-but-the-kitchen-sink engine and propellant design it's been very reliable with a 91% (22/24) successful launch record. It's 1400Kg to GTO payload should be enough to put some instruments and a big enough braking motor into Mars orbit.

    Well done to India for doing this.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: PLSV? What rocket is this?

      91% is "very reliable"?

      1. Bumpy Cat

        Re: PLSV? What rocket is this?

        91% is "very reliable" by rocketry standards.

    2. Mike Richards

      Re: PLSV? What rocket is this?

      What's seriously impressive is that the Indian Space Agency originally intended MOM to fly on the GSLV rocket, but when that suffered a series of launch failures, they switched to the PLSV.

      The GSLV should fly again soon and they'd better get it debugged because it is need to carry the Chandrayaan-2 lunar orbiter, lander and rover in 2017.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Re: PLSV? What rocket is this?

        "What's seriously impressive is that the Indian Space Agency originally intended MOM to fly on the GSLV rocket, but when that suffered a series of launch failures, they switched to the PLSV."

        I thought this was a natural for the GSLV but then I looked at its launch record...


        The GSLV is really shaping up as a work horse for the Indian programme, but they really need to get the bugs out of the Cryogenic upper stage.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I've been to India and I was shocked and dismayed at the level of poverty, squalor, disease and environmental denigration I witnessed.

    It's good to see the Indian government has enough spare cash to waste on activities like this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm...

      I've been to Britain and I was shocked and dismayed at the level of poverty, squalor, disease and environmental denigration I witnessed.

      It's good to see the British government has enough spare cash to waste on activities like this.

      1. bluejam

        Re: Hmmm...

        > I've been to Britain and I was shocked and dismayed at the level of poverty, squalor, disease and environmental denigration I witnessed.

        > It's good to see the British government has enough spare cash to waste on activities like this.

        You've never been to India, have you?

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: Hmmm...

          He's basing his comment on the five times he's watched Slumdog Millionaire.

        2. JamesTQuirk

          Re: Hmmm...

          I been to earth, shocked & dismayed no intelligent life there either, they are shitty to most of population a lot of time, I hope maybe mars, will be better, & we get over the petty bullshit that prevails here when people have to work together ....

      2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm...

        Given their space program is funded to levels suspiciously similar to the amount of aid we send India each year, you may be more right than you think.

    2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Hmmm...

      Unfortunately, it is now becoming inevitable that in any discussion of a space program there will be someone decrying the waste of money in space, which otherwise could have been spent on "good causes" to eradicate poverty/disease/environmental pollution.

      History however shows that governmental funding of such good causes never achieves the desired effect and results in the money being wasted through corruption, mismanagement and indifference of those who are supposed to be helped by these programs. Only, a bona fide economic pressure *and* growth capacity brings people out of poverty. And only when they are out of poverty they start to care about disease and environment.

      On the other hand, to date no dollar, rupee or rouble has ever been spent in space - all that cash is spent on Earth and goes to the earthly economy, actually by-passing a lot of the corruption channels endemic in any government aid program.

      Finally, space is one of the few remaining areas for possible economic expansion and those who will be able to explore it and exploit its resources, will be the future rulers of the human civilisation.

    3. Paul Kinsler Silver badge

      Re: cash to waste

      Other reporting[1] has pointed out that India's social aid budget vastly dwarfs the money spent on this Mars shot, and that India's poor would benefit more from more effective (and less wasteful) use of their existing budget rather than adding by some tiny fraction to it by cutting sci/tech funding.

      [1] Either or both the Indy or Gruniad articles I read over the weekend, for example.

    4. jaysan

      Re: Hmmm...

      Poverty in India is not due to lack of capital - in today's global economy, money can come in from any corner of the world. The problem is that India is caught in the grip of hardline socialists, including agitating labour unions, who scare capital away from India. Scaring away manufacturers keeps them from creating low-skilled blue-collar jobs which could easily help so many poor Indians out of poverty. The socialists and activists don't like to admit the problem they cause, and instead try to deflect blame onto any convenient scapegoat - including even Indian scientists and engineers. I hardly think that spending on science and technology is the most wasteful choice for India, when people spend far more money on cricket, movies, or even tobacco.

      Remember that old proverb: "If you teach a man to fish, he'll eat for a day. If you teach a man to send a spaceship to Mars, he'll figure out how to feed everyone."

    5. Bumpy Cat

      Re: Hmmm...

      Why explore space? It has been answered already, better than I could:

    6. Jay Man

      Re: Hmmm...

      This "spare cash" would do absolutely nothing in terms of eradicating poverty. It would help Indian researchers carry out experiments which they might be able to capitalize on financially or otherwise. In any event, the space budget is pre-allocated whether or not this mission takes off. Clearly, you're just another know-nothing British blowhard.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wish the project every success

    But, more public toilets, clean drinking water, and roads that don't wash away in a brief shower would be nice.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wish the project every success

      Where are the Romans when you need an Aquaduct and some roads?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any chance of a sponsorship logo?

    Since we're still giving poor India an average of £280m a year in aid, you'd think the least they could do is paint a little Union Flag somewhere on their massive penis substitute.

    1. Colin Miller

      Re: Any chance of a sponsorship logo?

      We're stopping aid to India in 2015, looks like we're still helping Pakistan and Bangladesh.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Yes cutting £280m off the Indian aid budget would be quite useful.

    True, not that big a chunk, but as they say "Every little helps."

    1. Jay Man

      Re: Yes cutting £280m off the Indian aid budget would be quite useful.

      It pales in comparison to the trillions (in today's dollar) that you savages stole from India during the 400 years of colonialism. Every little bit helps indeed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yes cutting £280m off the Indian aid budget would be quite useful.

        "It pales in comparison to the trillions (in today's dollar) that you savages stole from India during the 400 years of colonialism. Every little bit helps indeed."

        So much to loot. So little time.

  10. The Axe


    It's nice to know that our money that is being flung at India by DfID is being put to good use.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Been to India, nearly caused a riot.

    Gave away about £25 in small (to me) change to street kids at 4 in the morning about 15mins before the taxi left to the airport. Minutes later, there were about 400 people outside the hotel when we tried to leave and the hotel staff had to form a human barrier so we could get to the taxi!!

    Our two countries are so similar, neither Govt cares about their poor. However, India has so many, it's hard to see how they could cope, but the Torrie's just don't give a shit as long as it means there's more cash in their individual bank accounts.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Been to India, nearly caused a riot.

      Yes, that Torrie must be a right bastard. And not at all a common name for an Indian, too...

    2. rh587 Silver badge

      Re: Been to India, nearly caused a riot.

      RE: Been to India, nearly caused a riot.

      And I wonder how many were genuine street kids?

      As my mum was cautioned when my parents moved out there - if you're feeling soft go buy some little bottles of water, and when they come tapping on your window at the traffic lights hand them out instead of money.

      Without exception they get dumped on the floor as they walk away, and if you keep an eye out you can normally spot the pimps on the corners - kids go out wide-eyed, collect in the money, hand it back to the adults who send them off at the end of the day with a few rupees each and pocket the rest themselves.

      Genuine street kids are a single colour - the same sandy brown head to tail with matted hair.

      You get the kids in ironed shirts and clean hair and you know they're from a home - not rich by any means, but not street kids either.

      Not that it matters because you don't give money to any of them. You find a small charity without much bureaucracy that puts the money directly into their projects and give that way (rather like me giving to a local hospice rather than the NSPCC, I know where my money is going, and that it isn't going into the 20m+/yr the NSPCC spends on advertising, or the half dozen staff on >£100k/yr).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Been to India, nearly caused a riot.

        Not many charities visible at 4AM, the early morning, the kids were asleep on the street on their own, no adults, no families, not much clothing. If I'd thought about it more, I might have found a charity instead of sight seeing (not), but I would definitely have had smaller denomination currency, I only hope they weren't robbed of the paper money I gave them. Better that than UK money changers or charity expenses.

      2. phil dude

        Re: Been to India, nearly caused a riot.

        I have used a form of this "strategy" in Britain, America, Europe.... I have never had the beggar accept coffee, food etc... they have all wanted hard cash.

        A unique plea in the US is you are in a mini-mall parking lot, miles from anywhere, and someone asks for cash for gas. Ask to see the car to put the gas, and you get the "engaged tone " emotion response...

        In the interests of balance, occasionally I have given a pound coin to decent buskers in the tube, but that is because I'm a musician and appreciate the effort...

        Doesn't stop me feeling sorry for people needing to beg...:-(


  12. Winters

    It's nice to know that India has millions to piss away on a mission to Mars, but sadly not enough to feed the hundreds of millions who live in abject poverty and suffering.

    You'll never prove you're a "first" world nation by sending a rocket into space, India. You'll prove it by creating some form of infrastructure and social welfare.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      > You'll prove it by creating some form of infrastructure and social welfare.


      "infrastructure and social welfare" is not created by "India". "India" is a nasty piece of work that bombs and pauperizes "its" people if need be.

      A better society is created over very long time intervals by capital accumulation (those periods during which Marx thunders and liberals wail), a free market and mainly by getting all sorts of government out of the way.

      It's pretty late in the day so a few deaths by hunger and destitution, riots and whatnot cannot be avoided. GODSPEED!

      Meanwhile, MARS! I hope it won't be "You are having a bad problem and will not go to space today..."

    2. Jay Man

      And have you asked WHY there are hundreds of millions living in abject poverty? Forget about the filthy, barbaric invaders from a *certain* country in Western Europe who went over and robbed India blind? Forget about how those invaders committed genocide upon the natives and took all its jewels?

      You'll never prove you're a "first" world nation by killing and stealing from others, UK. You'll prove it by using your cognitive thinking skills (if you have any) to capitalize on new markets.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Tee hee! @Jay Man 07:34

        You should head over to the BBC, Jay - they've got one of those "Have your say" things about this. Might be more fertile hunting ground for your trolling.

  13. Jacksonville

    Good for you, India. Wish we'd do the same.


    Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.


  14. John Hughes

    What a load of British whingers.

    About what you'd expect from a has-been dump that managed to put *ONE* satelite into orbit and promptly cancelled the program (*)

    ((*) Well, the tossers actually cancelled the program *before* the launch, but since the bugger was ready to go they launched it anyway).

    1. Shrimpling

      Re: What a load of British whingers.

      I don't know why I am defending our record in space because it is pitiful but we contribute more to the ESA every year than India spent on this Mars Rocket.

      For more recent successes we also released a paper aircraft in space in 2009 and crashed Beagle 2 into Mars with the assistance of the ESA in 2003

    2. Maharg

      Re: What a load of British whingers.


      That is all.

      1. John Hughes

        Re: What a load of British whingers.

        Ah, "Le mouton Anglo-Francais".

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shooting all that money off into space . . .

    Actually, the money stays here. It is only the hardware that goes for the ride.

    The money pays salaries, vendors, suppliers of all kinds (and probably a tad for corruption, and not just in India), and results in more money for the local and aerospace economies. Somewhere I read that the return for each dollar spent on hardware is $14 into the economy. They needed roads to get to the launch facility, once the rocket is gone, they won't be taking the roads away, nor the power lines, phone lines, or structures such as accommodations for the support staff etc., etc. etc.

    Besides, the "money" is only "money" because government X says so, and they can always print more. (And rest assured, they will.)

    Wealth comes from economic activity, not from redistribution. Redistribution is just a safety net, and can only go so far, in this case, not nearly far enough. There HAS to be economic activity and economic development to increase the entire nation's standard of living (and not just India's), robbing Peter to pay Paul is a zero sum game in any economy.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Misplaced Priorities

    I have been sending $100 every month to India for the past 25 years to help offset the rampent poverty that infects that land. Last month October 31st 2013 was the last money installment I am sending. When a counrty can without reservation spend a billion US dollars on a status project of sending a probe to Mars they definitely have a priorities problem. Feed your people first and once all is well then go where ever you want to, until then get your priorities right.

    1. DropOne

      Re: Misplaced Priorities

      Dear Sir,

      It's not about the priorities. Here have a look at this

      This will give you details about Indian spending. Kindly note that the spending on social sector is in excess of $80 bn, while spending on space program is $1 bn. Yes, all that you keep hearing about how good the Indian space program is, all of it is achieved in under $1bn. Now whatever problems we have, could not be taken care of with $100 bn, what makes u think that scrapping a $1 bn program will help? The problem in India is not the lack of capital or inability to shoo poverty away. It's humongous corruption. From the PM to the peon, every person is corrupt in India. If they stopped spending this $1bn on space, it will not be spent on eradicating poverty, it will be spent by these corrupt politicians. And you, by sending $100, are helping these idiots in filling their pockets!

  17. implicateorder

    Stop B!tc#!ng and get back to work!

    I notice this happening repeatedly as soon as any article related to India is published here on the Register. Agreed that you are a british website, but is it too presumptuous to assume that you have intentions of getting your hits and viewership from all parts of the world?

    It is remarkable that India is doing what it's doing with Technology at a fraction of the budget of the US. I doubt if the British even have a space program (or any form of technological development underway - at least not since they were evicted from India in 1947). Instead of appreciating that, why constantly raise the bogey of poverty?

    Yes...Poverty is rampant in India. But India has done far more to uplift the masses in the past 60 odd years than the greedy British Raj had done in 200 years prior to that. Prior to the arrival of the East India company in India, there was no historical record of epidemic poverty or malnutrition in India. So, your forefathers created the problem by looting India and destroying natural industry in India systematically for 200 years. And now you try and browbeat Indians for not having been able to erradicate poverty in 60 years?!?

    You geniuses need to read this --

  18. Alex 71

    ISRO & spelling - let see if we can make them fix this, :-)

    I was wondering if I'm the only one who missed the huge typo in the ISRO website logo. ("Humankind" is spelled as one word; please let me know if I'm missing something here, because I'm not a native English speaker myself).

    For the sake of the experiment, let see how many El Reg reader e-mails to ISRO will take to get this fixed. Try & Anybody else with me?

    Just think of it: you'll be able to check off the "bother a major space agency" checkbox off your things-to-do-before-I-die list and forever claim that while you might have not helped an orbiter reach Mars, you have helped an orbiter reach Mars in style.

  19. This post has been deleted by a moderator


    Feed Your People

    Searchin for martians, while people are starvin, like hunger in america while feeding all foreignes.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Feed Your People

      Hmmm, URL typo? The Daily Fail website is that way --->

  21. Potemkine Silver badge


    PSLV C25 (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle), not PLSV C25...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Misplaced Priorities

    India has been slowly and steadily working on the poverty reduction. The problem is huge and requires ecosystems of economic activity to be continually setup and nurtured for growth. The first hurdle to for a Govt is to get elected. Although, there is a huge number of educated Indians, but the vast majority is uneducated. Anything the Govt wants to do as a long term measure cannot be understood and appreciated by the majority. So, polarization techniques are used as a workaround, which may be based on caste, religion, region, economic level, etc. Once the Govt manages to be in power, the old wasteful and corrupt systems need to be fed to continue compliance and co-operation. These systems cannot be stopped overnight and if done too fast, the Govt will get overthrown. Now enters the stage of planning and providing. The scale is so big that anything set right is constantly overrun by the migrants getting attracted to the goodies. That’s why you would see hordes of poor people in the City, whose actual inhabitants drive cars and have a comfortable lifestyle. These migrants would also see an increase in their lifestyle in couple of decades, but by then more migrants would have entered the system. Nothing drastic can be done as the Govt can get overthrown. Their actions are also limited by the polarizing agendas they had set for themselves before the election, just to get into power. In the background, Govt continues to fix economic issues and also works on getting more and more people educated. It’s a slow heal activity that’s picked up pace in the last 10-15 years and Indians see this change and are optimistic. This optimism of course cannot be shared by the migrants and their children that the foreigners see when they stay at a city hotel and move about public places. The resurgence will still take decades but till then educated Indians will have to withstand the ridicule of the west, who with their over simplistic proposals to eradicate poverty, will not be able to appreciate what it takes to bring light to this dark place. Till then Sir, a Mars mission will look like a pissing contest.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Political correctness gone mad ;)

    So will these 'little green men' refer to the Indians as large brown men? I bet they cause offence when we all show up.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow, no wonder people hate the brits so much. I felt bad for you when the world cup went to Russia but now i can see why everyone would rather have it in a 100% racist country than england :/

    you people just cannot let go of the past thinking the sun never sets on your empire, sadly, your empire today is a tiny island smaller than the state i live in. you talk down to us while conveniently forgetting your riches were stolen from us. yes, india is a poor country, we have been independent for 66 years, thanks to england we started off with a war torn country and an economy in shambles, yet in this time since we have built an economy the world is rushing to, a military formidable enough for talk of a permanent security council seat, and now, a scientific temperament good enough to begin competing with the big boys.

    66 years. can you imagine where we would be if we never knew the yoke of foreign rule?

    and about that "AID" you send over, our finance minister has said in parliament that it is insignificant and doesn't matter if you stop or not, this is on record you can look it up. so you can keep your money for your own kids so they don't have to start their life in debt thank you very much

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