November 18, 2008 – With the successful launch and arrival in lunar orbit of Chandrayaan-1, India has become the latest member of the “Lunar Club.”
For the Moon Society, India is a most fertile ground in which to spread the Society’s international presence. India has the largest English-speaking population of any country in the world. This is a legacy of the long British Raj (rule) prior to India’s independence in I947. While Hindi is the official language, it is in fact a regional language in the north, and speakers of other major languages in India prefer to use English, which is everywhere the language of all higher education in India. India publishes more books in English than any other country.
We have already made some contacts in India, notably with the Planetary Society of Youth. We have been busy establishing personal contacts all over India.
Last month, the Society decided to publish a special edition of Moon Miners’ Manifesto, MMM-India Quarterly.
The first issue published today includes some key reprints from past issues of Moon Miners’ Manifesto that are relevant to India’s space ambitions, as well as new matter.
Strategic goals are to grow the emerging space advocacy movement in India, to strengthen existing organizations involved in space outreach, and to develop a cluster of Moon Society chapters in India. There are currently five SEDS (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space) chapters and one National Space Society chapter in India, as well as two home grown student organizations.
The new quarterly publication is a free access pdf file download. While it is directed at Indian readers, it can be downloaded by anyone, Society member or not, without the use of a Society username and password.
The new publication does advertise the established Moon Miners’ Manifesto, and the Moon Society, encouraging membership. At this time, however, we want to spread our influence and readership within India, and we believe a free access publication is the best way to do this.
The initial listed editors are: Peter Kokh (Editor of MMM), Madhu Thangavelu (University of Southern California), and David A. Dunlop (Director of Project Development.) The first issue invites contributions from Indian readers, as well as Indian additions to our editorial team. Madhu Thangavelu, currently aboard, was born and raised in India.
Today, the first issue is available for download.
Comments and Feedback welcome!