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Things that don’t happen when you’re not there…don’t believe the hype


It’s an old joke, but I’ll tell it anyway (I’m that kind of fellow): a man struggles into work at 11.15 a.m. (horribly late), and the boss tells him, “You should have been here at 8.30” … “Why” says the man, “what happened at 8.30?” You might find it funny, you might not, but it says a lot about the way we live now. Unlike our metaphorical “worker”, we tend to live to regular hours, but the things that don’t happen when we’re not there can be just as important as anything we see with our own eyes. We witness so very little of what the world does on a daily basis: it’s often difficult to sort out the non-happenings from the happenings. 


For example, it now looks like Rishi Sunak is intent on cutting back on the UK’s commitment to positive climate change policies (according to a BBC leak), but were you there, and do you believe what you didn’t hear? And how can you sensibly evaluate what he’s not planning to say on Friday? Well, you might say it’s a major newscaster, right? And I trust what they say: things, perhaps like Senator Dewey trouncing Truman for the Presidency in 1948 (wrong…we weren’t there), pretty much anything Donald Trump says these days, and, of course, any given utterance from Liz Truss (of which we’ve had a few too many this week). Then multiply all that by the vagaries of social media, and you’ll see what I mean…you need to be cautious about what may or may not have happened when you weren’t there.


The Dark Side of the Moon

Take, too, the events now unwinding 238,855 miles away, on the far side of the Moon: how do we know they’re happening? After all, there’s a man in Croydon who doesn’t believe in the Moon, and we’ve all seen or heard the half-baked theories about how the lunar landings were faked. Nobody reading this actually lives there, so none of us can be sure what’s going on. Or can we…?


Well, the fact is we can…just like we can spot the nonsense Donald Trump spouts on a nightly basis…and anything Liz Truss promises about cutting taxes (again) after she “gets back into Downing Street”.


This is certainly no time to be siding with the curious chap from Croydon…let alone Donald Trump or Liz Truss.


As I write this, there are teams of exceptionally well grounded professionals manning (or womaning) monitors and support desks at the ISRO Mission Control Centre in Sriharikota, India, and they know exactly what they’re doing. They’re listening out for the latest signals from the Chandrayaan-3 Lunar Lander (Vikram) and, more particularly, its rover vehicle (Pragyan), each delivering vital data from the first ever mission to the Moon’s south polar region. 


Valuable soil samples are being taken, which will significantly augment data from US landings on the lunar equatorial region nearly forty years ago. New temperature readings and the first ever detected evidence of sulphur deposits (confirming the Moon’s volcanic past), not to mention crucial frozen ice data still to come,…they’re all made possible by India’s Space Programme. And who would have thought any of that was possible less than a decade ago…


We’re not there, and we’re not seeing it happen, but India’s expansive ambitions are still making all the difference.


Executive Overview

India joined an exclusive Club last month…one of only a handful of nations to successfully complete a landing on the Moon, and that’s something we should take notice of. 

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Suchit Punnose

Suchit Punnose / About Author

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