Book Review: MoonShot India

Book Review
MoonShot India
Srinivas Laxman

Moonshot India is a book written by a well-known space enthusiast and Indian space related efforts journalist Srinivas Laxman. Published by Navneet and available for a mere Rs.100, it is a good buy for any Indian interested in human activities on the moon. The book is mainly targeted at the student community. The book is slim (about 100 pages or so) but packed with information. Some of this information is probably not available elsewhere in an easy to search form. The fonts and black and white pictures are good. The paper quality, the size of the pages and the size of the fonts are great for reading. So what else did we think of this book?

Book cover page

We'll start with the writing style. It is informal and the love of the author towards Indian spacefaring activities is evident time and again. We did think though that the editing was not upto the mark. Time and again we felt that the sequencing of the content was not done correctly as the material kept jumping from past to present to future to past. We suspect this was because the book added several sections once the Chandrayaan was launched and the book tried to add in information about that as well. Nevertheless, it was disconcerting.  Several times, information was repeated in places where there was not much necessity for it. Given however that repetition is good for reinforcing learning, we wont take this issue too seriously. What was a little unfortunate was the appearance of terms that were not explained clearly especially since not everyone understands physics that well. Nevertheless, googling those terms was easy enough so readers need not worry. One major quibble we have with the book is that despite the title being "Moonshot India", a significant portion of the book deals with moon projects of other nations. However, we suspect that the majority of the audience wont care about this since the information will probably be new to them anyway.

Srinivas Laxman

The language of the book is lucid enough for even students of secondary section of the high school. Hence, most of us space hounds will be able to enjoy reading this book irrespective of our backgrounds and ages. The book is filled with delightful nuggets of information like how the space program of India got its start only after the blessings of a sleepy little fishing village in Kerala. Or the juxtaposition of the poor with no water and the people talking to the moon sitting on opposite sides of a single boundary wall. It tells us in detail exactly how many different groups collaborate to make such an endeavour i.e. Chandrayaan, successful. It also explains in depth how exactly this mission will benefit India, her most ordinary citizens and the entire world. It offers a fascinating look into an organization which does not get much publicity but on whose hardworking shoulders all Indians say "Chak De". It shows us how scientists think. It tells us which decisions are important to people and how it all eventually comes together.

Our take on this book - Go buy it. Its only Rs. 100. If its not available at your local bookstore, write to Navneet. We are sure they will be happy to accept your order.

Ask a question to the author and win a copy of the book "MoonShot India" signed by Srinivas Laxman, Click here.

Azeem Khan

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