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Here’s What These Really Cool ISRO Scientists Have to Say about Work, Motivation… And Space!

Indian scientists from ISRO are here — to answer all your burning questions about India’s premier (and if these guys have it right, incredibly fun to work at!) space agency.

They did an unofficial AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit recently — a Q&A session open to the public. Here are some of the responses we loved:

1. When they pointed out the right way to show support:

“Pay your taxes.”

isro scientists

2. When they highlighted an underrated ISRO project:

“Everything NRSC does, basically. Just go to their site and look at all the disaster management (or other) remote sensing work they do!”

NRSC is the National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad, and this is their website.

3. When they had this answer to someone who asked them the purpose of a “huge” crane on top of one of their buildings:

“It does what a crane does: lifts objects.”

isro reddit ama

4. When they outlined a typical day in the life of an ISRO software engineer:

Short answer: like a day in the life of any other software engineer.

“Not very different from any other programmer’s except for the fact that there is a slight lag in the adoption of new technologies. This is partly due to heritage inertia and partly due to the fact that function is preferred over form. If it ain’t broke…
It also depends on the kind of work you get. Development is always exciting. So is stuff like implementing a new network end-to-end, which will push you to learn stuff way beyond what you’ve previously been comfortable with.”

isro reddit ama

Source: Reddit

5. When they provided this realistic assessment of the pure science job industry in India:

“Do or do not, there is no job safety (in pure sciences, if you don’t want to be a prof)”

This is something we’re hoping can change!

6. When they told us what working at ISRO feels like:

“The force is strong with this organisation (plus 7th CPC makes things slightly better for the wallet too).”

isro reddit ama

7. When they were asked about any changes in ISRO’s relationship with the new government:

“Positive. Mostly to do with focus on 5 year targets and increasing number of launches of PSLV/GSLV and ‘productionisation'”

8. When they shared their vision for the future of ISRO:

“I think ISRO, like any other conscious organisation seeking to minimise waste and costs, should start looking at individual tasks like services and should either extradite non essential processes to the private sector or form a separate, faster production entity for it. ISRO should not do things because it has done them or because it can do them. ISRO should do them if no one else can do it for ISRO or because no one else can do it cheaper.

In doing this, the focus will inevitably shift to research and talent will be better allocated too. The best minds shall be decoupled from the routine and put to good use in challenging tasks and situations.”

9. When they told us something (anything!) about the human spaceflight programme:

“Human Space Flight is going to the initial process of prototyping and testing”

isro reddit ama

10. When they gave this answer to someone who asked them if ISRO and DRDO had a joint programme:

“If I tell you, I will have to kill you.”

Don’t be so darned adorable, you folks at ISRO!

11. When someone asked them how many hours scientists put in for the Mars Orbiter Mission — and they gave this amazing answer:

“Everything NRSC does, basically. Just go to their site and look at all the disaster management (or other) remote sensing work they do!”

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isro reddit ama

YES, ANONYMOUS ISRO SCIENTIST! We can truly think of nothing more adventurous than exploring the mysterious and awesome depths of space.

12. When they had this exciting (and we’re hoping… realistic) answer to what space progress should look like:

“Everything NRSC does, basically. Just go to their site and look at all the disaster management (or other) remote sensing work they do!”

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Owning a space bungalow is now also my long-term goal.

13. When they spoke about the ISRO “lifestyle”:

“Everything NRSC does, basically. Just go to their site and look at all the disaster management (or other) remote sensing work they do!”

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14. And finally, when they told us the best part about working at ISRO:

“Everything NRSC does, basically. Just go to their site and look at all the disaster management (or other) remote sensing work they do!”

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isro reddit ama

Alright!

Thanks, guys! You do us proud every day.

You can read the entire AMA here.

Featured image source: ISRO

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