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Showing posts from November, 2008

CHANDRAYAAN 1 - India on Moon

The MIP crashed at a place called the Shackleton crater in the south polar region of the Moon and put the Tricolour on the Moon. The crater also is possible site for future human missions to the moon.

The Shackleton crater has an undulating terrain with hills and valleys. Since the valleys are in the moon’s permanently shadowed regions, it could harbour water and ice.

What was extraordinary about the historic event of Chandrayaan -1’s probe landing on the moon on Friday night was that the spacecraft was built in India, it was put into orbit by the Indian rocket, PSLV-C11, and the launch took place from Indian soil.

When I was in school in late sixties, one of the favourite topics for English essay writing and science project was ‘visit to the Moon’. I remember making visits with my friends to USIS (United States Information Service, earlier version of American Centre) and the Russian Centre to collect printed material on these countries’ space programmes. We were so enamoured with thos…

The Ship Pirates

Having spent two months on the ship this year, and passing through some risky area of the Indian Ocean while sailing from the Antarctic Ocean via Cape Town and Indian Ocean, news such as ship piracy in such area of course attracts my attention. While on the ship, I was quite surprised to learn that ship piracy is a regular risk with the ships and its crew especially cruising in the Gulf of Aden. During my daily visits to the Radio Room at M.V. Emerald Sea for making/receiving phone calls from home, or collecting/delivering emails, I would see printer regularly printing alerts from the maritime bureau. If you ever thought that the ship pirates in current times existed only in the Hollywood, then improve on your information and general knowledge. They are every where in different oceans with high speed boats and modern weaponry. Fortunately, we were safe in Antarctic Ocean; so far no incident of ship piracy has ever been reported from this continent. In fact the menace of the ship pirac…

Chandigarh....the city beautiful

Ever since I left Chandigarh way back in 1982, I have looked for opportunities to visit Chandigarh again and again. There are so many pleasant memories and experiences associated with the city. It has not yet disappointed me in my so many visits in last 25 years. Though these visits are now never for a longer period, not more than 2 nights usually, but the visits and meeting with old buddies always refreshes me. Chandigarh has changed in so many ways, and yet it has remained the same in its character. It has expanded in all directions. Like NCT region of Delhi which now encompasses Noida, Gurgaon, and may be Sonepat also, Chandigarh’s unofficial boundaries now engulf Mohali, Panchkula, and may be Raipur Rani. It is not uncommon to find letters for Panchkula also mentioning Chandigarh in the address. The traffic has multiplied manifold; the ubiquitous cycle, the most common mode of transportation earlier, has rapidly been replaced by motorcycles and small cars. Traffic jams, unheard ea…

The Scent of Fruits and Vegetables

You read any health column; invariably, you will be told umpteen number of times the value of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet to ward off modern life illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or heart attack. You can also ward off pernicious illnesses like prostrate cancer, colon cancers, or even Alzheimer’s disease. We all take the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in India almost for granted. I now know from my personal experience how much one can miss even the mere sight of fresh fruits and vegetables. I have now known what the sight or scent of fresh fruits or vegetables can do to boost up your morale and improve your mood. We were returning from Larsemann Hills (69° 25´ South, 76° 15´ East), Antarctica on M.V. Emerald Sea and by the time we reached Cape Town, we were already on board for nearly six weeks. We had exhausted all our supplies of fresh fruits and vegetables and were getting slowly sick of frozen stuff. Only potatoes and onio…