Call me cynical but all the details about it being a mission to look for traces of this and that exotic substance just don't ring true. I mean haven't we moved on from the Moon now, literally ? Aren't we spending all the money not allocated to bailing out the banks on moving scaletrix robots about on the Martian surface ?
I use the term 'we' in a very loose worldwide scientific community type way of course. The UK Space Agency (yes, yes I've made it up) has yet to launch anything into space but we'll get there. Just after Nigeria probe Uranus probably. The Moon will be colonised, the Mars Hilton will be open for business and we Brits will still be messing about with low altitude fireworks.
"Tall Man Raises Sparkler To Record Height" would be the exciting headline.
But back to this evening and the launch of Chandrayaan 1, India's answer to the USSR's Luna 2 which was the first probe to reach the Moon in Sept 1959. Better late than never, guys. Actually when I say it 'reached' the Moon, I mean it crashed into it. Lunar probes had a habit of doing that back in those days. Something to do with a Radioshack GPS and dodgy brakes.
"After 238,800 miles you have reached your destina..........." Bang.
So why is India really interested in the Moon ? Well it's a pretty overpopulated country after all so maybe it sees lunar colonisation as a real possibility. And as for sport, think what the thin atmosphere will mean for their spin bowlers for a start ! They'll be unplayable with their almost zero gravity googlies and doozras.
Ok lost most of you now. Sorry about that. Interplanetary cricket may be some way off yet.
Anyway I know why they're looking towards the Moon. S'obvious.
The first lunar call centre !!
They'll be about 238,000 miles away so absolutely useless when it comes to helping anyone in a practical sence. Communications could be a problem too with a bit of a time delay and of course solar flares might cause regular interference as well. The need to use message ending words like 'over' and 'roger' would become the norm. In Indian of course.
To sum it up, they'll be a long way away, hard to talk with and using words that we're not used to. Oh and not much help at all really.
So no change there then.