Why ISRO’s Scramjet Engines are ‘The Need of the hour’ ?


From the MARS Orbiter mission (Mangalyaan) to the recent successful Flight Testing of domestically designed Scramjet Engine, we have come a long way in the field of space research. We have seen undeterred success in the satellite launches using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle(PSLV) till date.

Why Scramjet Engines are ‘The Need of the hour’ ?

To understand Scramjet let us travel back in history, when the term ‘Jet Engines’ was the buzzword. One biggest advantage of a Jet Engine is that it can be used to take off from the runway. Jet Engines can take us up to MACH 3.5, that is 3.5 times the speed of sound (1Km/s). So a Jet Engine cannot take us into the Hyper-sonic regime which is about MACH 5. The main limitation in the Jet Engine is that the speed of flow that passes through the COMBUSTION chamber is very much Sub-Sonic. A Jet Engine primarily consist of 4 blocks. First is the Intake, followed by the Compressor, then comes the Combustion chamber  finally the Exhaust. The role of the compressor in a Jet Engine is to raise the level of Pressure and Temperature. But when we are operating at very higher speeds, the Intake and the Compressor has to reduce the flow to sub-sonic levels to facilitate the Combustion chamber. This process of slowing down generates a great amount of Pressure and Temperature, high enough to facilitate the combustion. So the role of Compressor and Turbine(that drives the compressor) becomes futile.

When you discard Compressor and Turbine in a Jet Engine, you end up with a Ramjet. A Ramjet Engine needs the air to to be pushed into its intake at Super Sonic, which then is reduced to Sub Sonic levels. But the act of pushing air into the Ramjet (called RAM-effect) increases the temperature to higher levels. At that point of time, we needed a Jet Engine which can keep the speed of flow at Super Sonic levels even inside the engine and also weigh less(without compressor, turbine and other mechanical overheads). Thus a Scramjet was developed. The oxygen needed by the Scramjet Engine for combustion is taken from the atmosphere passing through the vehicle, instead of from a tank on-board unlike the previous systems. This makes the craft lighter and faster.

The Scramjet technology significantly cuts down the cost of launching rockets by reducing its weight by more than half. On July 30, 2002, the University of Queensland’s HyShot team and international partners conducted the first ever successful test flight of a Scramjet. Though 14 years looks like a long period, but for a country with an economy like us, this is a phenomenal achievement. The Hyshot team had funding across the globe but Hyshot 1 failed miserably. But in a jiffy,we have come an inch closer in establishing a reusable space transport system for every future mission of ours. This is what, that makes ISRO stand tall in the Space Race– A low-cost, indigenous and a successful Scramjet mission in the very first attempt.

Duly quoting….

This test-bed could be a pathfinder for a future unmanned reusable launch vehicle that could take off like a rocket, deploy a satellite in orbit, and return to Earth and land on a runway. ”


Following the Scramjet, ISRO is all set for revolutionary missions in the next 10 years. That includes India’s first manned mission into moon, the Chandraayan 2; the SAARC satellite, a communication cum meteorology satellite which is regarded as the Brainchild of Mr.Narendra Modi; Aditya 1, the first Indian mission to study the sun; NISAR mission, the biggest collaboration of all time between two key players in Space Research-  NASA and ISRO. ISRO’s budget for a fiscal year is just 3 percent of the NASA’s budget. So it cannot and should not be seen as a competition. ISRO is already a key player in the field of Space Exploration and with the years to come, ISRO will be regarded in the same way as that of NASA.


What is Wrong With Us


A few days back, I was talking to a friend of mine. She was in quest of a place to stay, near her office.

She: My friends and I are looking for a house around this area. Would you help us in finding one ?

Me: What are you looking for, 2BHK or 3BHK ?

She: No, I am actually looking for PGs.

Me: Rented houses would be more comfortable than PGs. Why do you go for a PG ?

She: No, parents wouldn’t feel safe putting us in independent houses.

Why does an independent woman in an independent country feel unsafe to make a living.

Whats wrong with us ?

A few excerpts from the official statements made by socially accepted individuals.

“The female is a female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities; we should regard the female nature as afflicted with a natural defectiveness.”

“When a woman has scholarly inclinations there is usually something wrong with her sexual organs.”

“Direct thought is not an attribute of femininity. In this, woman is now centuries … behind men.”

“If rape is inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.”

“The poor fellows, three of them have been sentenced to death. Should rape cases lead to hanging? Boys are boys, they make mistakes. Two or three have been given the death sentence in Mumbai. We will try and change such laws…we will also ensure punishment of those who report false cases.”

“Hindu women should have between four and ten children”

“Just because India achieved freedom at midnight does not mean that women can venture out after dark. They should ensure that they do not board buses with few passengers. The woman should have thought twice before boarding the suspicious private bus that night. Though the incident was condemn-able, she should also have behaved keeping in mind the situation. Although it [Delhi gang-rape] was a minor incident, Soniaji made it a point to meet the protesters when they called on her.”

“Pakistan’s powerful Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has passed a draft proposal for a bill which recommends that “husbands must be allowed to lightly beat their wives” in case the later behaves erratically.”

Ain’t equality a birthright of every individual ?

What’s wrong with us ?

From the advent of civilization, we have collectively taken a hypocritical stand in one aspect, which is prejudice against a sexually dimorphic human species. Our rivers are named after women, our Vedas insist the parents to gift their daughters the intellect and the power of knowledge before she gets married, our customary practices reiterate women to light the lamps for Agni to symbolize the absence of darkness and grief, and the very same custom was cool with pushing a widowed woman into the same Agni.

The same hypocrisy still exists in our everyday life.

Those “Don’t cry like a girl.” provokes from the elders, those “ Are you a girl ? Won’t you come outside and play with us” taunts from your seniors, those ” Girls will marry and go, you should work hard to get settled” free advice from the entire world.

Those “She has a good hand writing and ability to mug up” lame excuses we tell our parents when the girl next door scores better than us.

If a Woman voices her opinion call her a “Slut” , If a woman is successful call her a “Witch“, If husband fails in his business, call his wife “Unlucky“, above all if a girl refuses to accept your proposal, “Strew acid at her” or lest “Kill not just her but also her character“.

Ain’t Gender difference a matter of chromosome ?

What’s wrong with us ?

In a society where still a girl’s dress speaks about her character, the caste flashes first in the headlines instead of the fact that a girl was raped, the concept of Consensual Sex is worth unmentioned.

Equality shouldn’t stop with drafting just a bill. It should be in the very essence of society, right from “building toilets in motels where men find open ground to pee and women are left with just two choices; One is to go in search of darker places or lest control the advances of kidney” to “treating a woman with good will not because she is a woman but an individual”.

Respect a woman not because you have a mother or a sister. Respect her for the person she portrays.

Misogyny is no less shittier than racism.

We Are Nothing But a Pale Blue Dot!


Whenever I feel like am in deep crap I climb up the terrace of my house and gaze at the stars, transcending those boundaries fabricated by men into the vast and ever mysterious space, devoid of dust, differences and hatred. The infinite ever present tranquil space which keeps on insisting us every day, that there is a lot more in this universe to be explored, to be understood and there are even more that rather can’t be understood with just the limited years of experience in Earth where the Universe itself is 13.82 billion years old. At times, I feel like the whole outer space is bursting out in laughter at us, the poor us, at our insatiable hunger for exploring the space outside the Earth, where we are still laying down in Ground Zero in understanding the very neighbors, the family with so much hullabaloo among us, the tantrum between each nations, where no single step is taken to establish concordance among us but we spend crores and crores of money to win the Space Race in venturing into the deep fathoms of tranquil outer space and never learning from the Universe how it remains placid with a population number so humongous that can’t even be compared with the human population back at home.

Over the past few months, a lot is happening in the space exploration. The mysterious sighting of The Martian Woman, Kepler mission’s single largest finding of planets (has verified 1,284 new planets) to date, Possibility of planetary migration by Kepler – 223, ISRO’s Desi GPS etc.., Out of all, the one thing which awestruck meCarl was one remarkable finding of the Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble Space Telescope had done the impossible. It had surprised every scientist by looking back in time. It calculated the distance to the most far away galaxy from the earth named GN-Z11, which is 13.4 billion years ago. To put it in a simple way for a layman to understand, the image produced by the Hubble Space Telescope is actually showing how this galaxy looked 13.4 billion years ago.

Now comes the complicated part, how are these distances between 2 cosmic objects measured. Due to expanding nature of universe, the distance between 2 cosmic objects is measured by determining the degree to which the light from galaxy has been shifted by the expanding universe. This is called Redshift. Higher the value of Redshift, more distant is the object. The previous largest Redshift value measured was 8.68 for EGSY8p7 and the GN-Z11 galaxy’s Redshift value is measured around 11.1.


According to me, (There is always a Not My Opinion option) if the images what we are seeing are 13.4 billion years old, then we are viewing how Universe is emerging few million years after Big Bang. This galaxy (13.4 billion years ago) is 25 times smaller than the Milky Way Galaxy(present) for a person sitting inside the 2016 calendar, now if we go back 13.4 billion years in time (which is not possible, yet) where universe was just emerging this GN-Z11 would pose as the Supergiant galaxy in the Universe. If we presume some forms of life exist in GN-Z11, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is actually viewing the past of those life forms in real time.

Mind blowing isn’t it?

Keep tracking my column in The Opinion to know more about Space.(There is always a no comments option)

A sneak peek in to the next article on space:

We all know the Saturn’s moon is Titan. European Space Agency (ESA) in October 15, 1997 launched Cassini-Huygens an unmanned spacecraft into space, which entered into Saturn’s orbit on July 1, 2004. Huygens probe from the Cassini-Huygens mission got separated on December 25, 2004 and landed safely on Saturn’s moon Titan on January 14, 2005. This was the first time we ventured into the outer Solar system. Now NASA is planning on to steer the spacecraft into the Saturn’s atmosphere after the end of the mission to prevent the contamination of Titan’s surface by terrestrial microbes.

To be continued..

Populism and Anti-Incumbency: The Bread and Butter of Tamil Nadu Politics

Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.

– Mark Twain

We have been fed enough by the socially aware memologists with their ‘Admit It’ memes, lateral thinkers who blog / brag, really attentive citizens who sincerely care about the country’s future, about the need to vote, the right to vote and the significance of each and every single vote which can seal the fate of a state for the next five years. This is probably the only time, you feel proud and accomplished for dirtying your finger and never want it to fade away soon before clicking a selfie. With that proud feeling in the heart let us cut deep into stuffs that is binding the TN politics over a few decades. The 2 factors which are inseparable from the TN politics are Populism and Anti-Incumbency.

“An anti-incumbent vote is one exercised against elected officials currently in power. It allows the voters to register their discontent with sitting government officials, particularly when protesting against certain actions taken by the government or the elected officials in question”, tells our wiki. Anti-Incumbency would be only meaningful and fruitful if voters are exposed to sensible and logical alternative parties to the ruling party. The Anti-Incumbent situation in our state is more or like, a cricket match where the umpire tosses a coin and ask the winning (winner of the toss) captain to choose between Bowling and Fielding. Though Anti-Incumbency had been put on a rough patch by the humongous money launderings, whooping scams of the alternative party in house, Populism is one evil that has spread its tentacles wide on an exponential rate.

So what is this Populism?

“Populism is a political outlook or disposition that appeals to the interests and conceptions (such as hopes and fears) of the general population, especially when contrasting any new collective consciousness push against the prevailing status quo interests of any predominant political sector”, confuses wiki. Though Populism has a bunch of meanings and definitions, the one which we refer to here is the Catch- all politics or the demagogy policy adopted by various parties to win the election.


So you go to USA (for instance) and pick out a guy and ask him to differentiate between their two major contemporary political parties. “We have Democrats who strongly believes in Modern Liberalism which supports ideas of civil liberty and equality with support for social justice and a mixed economy and on the other hand we have Republicans who believe strongly in American Conservatism which involves support for free market capitalism, deregulation, restrictions on labor unions, social-conservative policies.”, answers a guy in a trumpified voice.

Ask the same question to a guy from our state, his obvious reply would be, “One party promised us to give TV and other party promised us to give Refrigerator, I already got a Color TV from previous government so I am going to vote for the party which gives me free refrigerator.” Well this is how Populism has infected our vote banks.

Though am NOTA supporter of both the major contemporary parties, but they too had ideologies when they were first founded. One party was founded with one single notion of winning a separate independent state for the Dravidians, while the other party was completely against the ethnic exclusion and inducted policies targeting the upbringing of poorer segments of Tamil society. Both, though not completely have miserably failed in its ideology over the time.

Looking forward for a Real Ideology Based Politics where people won’t require a 350 pages’ manifesto to elect a party in the near future.