ISRO Scientists Revealed Office Gossip On Reddit

16 February, 2017 at 13:16 | by Chaitra Saxena

Last year, Reddit India hosted a AMA (Ask Me Anything) With ISRO Scientists. Following are the questions that were asked and their funny and scientifically correct answers.

ISRO means 'Top Secret' to most of us civilians. We hardly know how things work there. Reddit tried to give us some insight by hosting an AMA with some young scientists in there. All three of them chose to stay anonymous and answered all the questions satisfactorily.

How is ISRO contributing to India's growth and is it wasting the tax payer's money?

Hi, The other things which need the said attention and funds are more of an operations problem than of finance. Our Mars mission cost a fifth of what a planned 'Statue of Unity' is going to cost. NASA's projected budget for 2013 is about $ 18 Billion, which will approximately be 0.5% of the total US budget. ISRO's allotted budget for fiscal year 2013-14 is $ 950 Million, almost 19 times less, and is about 0.33% of the total Indian budget.

So, no, ISRO is not taking a bite out of the poor and hungry Indian's pie. In fact, through its remote sensing and communication programs (IRS and INSAT), we are only helping build an essential infrastructure for the country. Then, there is disaster management: we saved millions (of lives and dollars, both) by being well prepared for the cyclone Phailin. That is where maintaining cutting edge technological capability through R & D pays!

Remote sensing helps our farmers and fishermen: the beloved poor-hungry-Indians and enables them to buy food. Giving them food, is not the answer. And our communication satellites are well, apart from connecting the remotest parts of a diverse and large country (telemedicine and edusat), are enabling me to answer this question in real time. 

This is what they said when some people complained about bad picture quality on DD1 and allowing general public inside the campus during launches.

Very good question. There is no question of collecting money. Just make a pavilion and give official passes. We'll try to take the idea forward. Also pulicat lake is a tourist destination.


Earlier, online coverage, photos and webcast were bad. However, the facebook presence now has greatly improved things. Photos are way way better and updates are really good. The facebook experiment has gone really well and is helping ISRO to reach a wider audience. However, much more needs to be done. There were live videos for all missions, shown on DD national. The webcast is pathetic, as you said. I don’t know why the resolution is so bad given that DD broadcasts in HD. Also, the webcast requires a Windows media player plugin. Who uses that :(

Somebody asked why ISRO is building a new launch site further north along the coast?

Because we must have it on the east coast (to use earth's rotation in our favour) and we can't have it further down south on the east coast due the existence of a populated landmass called Sri Lanka. If anything goes wrong, it should fall into the sea, not on another country. :)

Somebody asked them why ISRO is building a new launch site further north along the coast and they answered hilariously.

Because we must have it on the east coast (to use earth's rotation in our favour) and we can't have it further down south on the east coast due the existence of a populated landmass called Sri Lanka. If anything goes wrong, it should fall into the sea, not on another country. :)

People were curious about how the company functioned and asked questions related to office politics.

Everyone obviously does not get to work on the exciting stuff. Someone has to do the other work, but it is always the organisation first. I would say the satisfaction levels among the younger engineers are slightly lower, which leads to higher attrition. There is internal politics, just like any other place.


I have delivered a 85 hour work week 2 weeks ago, right now, the number is 60. The rule says you can't be asked for more than 40. There's your answer.

Lastly, here's some office gossip.

"Senior scientists still forward early 21st century chain mails :D," one of them wrote."

 

The also mentioned that the male-female ratio is very bad and that: "Also, many young scientists are single :D"

ISRO is like any other government office and all the scientists on Reddit were happy about the fact that their head office is based in Bengaluru, far away from the politics of New Delhi. So, that's it from Reddit. No, they didn't share any details related to their work and the equation that launches the satellites. Sorry for that.

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