India’s maiden moon mission paid off magnificently by establishing evidence of water on the lunar surface and gave India the pride of place. The unexpected discovery has overturned the 40-year-old view of the moon. It is significant that the world scientific community has hailed India’s feat as path-breaking. NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) has made a significant “sniffing for water assignment” and its findings are bound to throw light on many scientific areas dispelling age-old speculation. The Indian media castigated ISRO’s Chandrayaan effort when the mission was aborted due to unavoidable reasons and termed the huge spending unnecessary. But now comes a magnificent discovery. The findings are special not only for India, but also for the entire world. Hail the ISRO team.

A.R.K. Pillai,

Mumbai

This refers to the editorial “Keeping watch over the oceans” (Sept. 25). The launch of Oceansat-2 is a stupendous achievement for ISRO. The significance of the satellite for weather forecasters, atmospheric scientists and the fishing fraternity cannot be overemphasised. The ISRO team deserves accolades for the precision with which the satellite, along with six nano satellites, was put in orbit. ISRO has come a long way since its early days of struggle when it had to function under a technology denial regime. The satellite will help map fishing zones, issuing warnings on rough seas, adding to our understanding of the monsoon. With its launch, India has firmly established itself in commercial launching which is emerging as a potential industry.

Vaibhav C. Ghalme

New Delhi

The news of Chandrayaan-1 finding traces of water on the moon, read with the cartoon asking whether water is now closer to us (Sept. 25) is thought provoking. We have abundant water but it is either too close or too far for comfort. It is necessary to control floods and eliminate drought and this is possible only if due priority and attention is given. Planners, engineers and scientists should jointly endeavour to provide at least drinking water for all.

Y.S. Kadakshamani,

Madurai

Hats off to Cartoonscape (Sept. 25) for yet another gem. There is all-round, justifiable jubilation over the successful launch of PSLV-C14 and the role Chandrayaan-1 played in finding water on the moon. However, despite the giant strides we have taken in different fields of science, our village folks still have to trudge miles to find a pot of potable water.

Manohar Alembath,

Kannur

Of what use citing water on the moon when man, overtaken by greed or ignorance or by being indifferent to the laws of nature, fails to preserve the precious commodity?

M.A. Hakeem,

Hyderabad

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