Many of you sent me this, and it is a revealing article, for many reasons, some of them geopolitical, and some of them "cosmo-political" (and again my thanks to Mr. P.T. for coining this term).
India, it seems, is set to launch a new satellite - its first - to Mars, complete with an experiments package and mapping-imaging functions:
One individual suggested this was geopolitical in nature, a "demonstration of capability" for India, which, as the article suggests, would be "the sixth country to launch a mission to Mars after the U.S., Russia, Europe, Japan and China." In other words, three of the five BRICSA nations would have a demonstrated ability to conduct interplanetary space missions, though one of those nations, Russia, has been plagued with difficulties in its space program as the loss of its Phobos-Grunt probe demonstrated.
The geopolitical, and cosmo-political, agenda is suggested by the statements of K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
“'Our (Mars mission) experiments are planned in such a way that you can decide when you want to put on each of these systems', Radhakrishnan said.
“'If we succeed (in the mission), it positions India into group of countries who will have the ability to look at Mars.
"'In future, certainly, there will be synergy between various countries in such exploration. That’s taking place. That time India will be a country to be counted', he said."
While the first statement above makes it sound as if India has designed a series of modular satellites - i.e., a satellite platform with the flexibility to be equipped with various experimental packages prior to launch(and I have no idea if that is the case or not. Radhakirshnan's statement simply implies that) - I suggest that the real agenda here is the geopolitical and cosmo-political one that Mr. Radhakrishnan suggests: the future inevitably will involve direct human missions to and exploration of Mars, and India wants to be a part of it.
The real question is why everyone - including now India - wants to go at all, and I suspect that readers here already know the reasons: Mars, to paraphrase Carl Sagan, has surprises. That's a euphemistic way of admitting what cannot be admitted: Mars shows every sign of having anomalous and potentially artificial features on its surface, but we won't really know for sure, until we go there ourselves and look with our own eyes. Thus far, only the Russians, the USA, and the Europeans have published the strangely suggestive photos they took. Japan and China have been less forthcoming. The debates sparked by those photos are well known and we needn't rehearse them here. Just google the names Richard Hoagland, Mark Carlotto, John Brandenburg, to name but a few, and you'll see. When those debates are placed into the wider context of human myths and planetary lore, the picture, and the stakes, become much larger. And India certainly has more than its fair share of such myths and lore. There is a hidden pressure switch on all of this, and that is that troublesome "Tower of Babel Moment" that in my opinion must be a factor, though a carefully and closely held secret factor, in space and strategic planning, for those myths also indicate that as humanity approached a state of global unity and technological capability, "interventions" occurred to knock human civilization down a few pegs.
The Indians know this story well. Their myth and lore are full of such interventions, so India's attitude toward what it sees and finds on Mars will be one to watch.
See you on the flip side.