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Mission ISRO with Harsha Bhogle: The Serendipitous Story of Indian Space History
Spotify comes up with an original series on Indian Space History narrated by the renowned commentator - Mission ISRO with Harsha Bhogle.
Welcome to the review of the Spotify Original Series: Mission ISRO with Harsha Bhogle.
Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan missions put India's flag on the Moon and around Mars. Both were ISRO's maiden attempts and both were successful. While they started a new chapter in India's space program. Suddenly, ISRO began to be known by the common man. In 2019, Chandrayaan-2 finally established the Indian Space Agency's name in the hearts of 1.3 billion Indians. What followed was that ISRO began to be included in the mainstream media. Bollywood made a movie, a Netflix series Away had a representation of ISRO, and finally, Spotify came out with a Podcast series, Mission ISRO with Harsha Bhogle.
Born into violence, poverty and the desolation of colonial exploitation, newly independent India was a nation working hard to find its footing. But its head was held high––high as the clouds. The story of India's space programme is such an unlikely one, with so many uncommon characters, filled with such impossible odds, that it can sometimes seem like science fiction rather than science. This is that story.
Official Description: Mission ISRO with Harsha Bhogle
The Spotify original, Mission ISRO with Harsha Bhogle, narrates the journey of Indian Space Program. The story starts with the birth of two eminent scientists of India, "Dr Homi Bhabha" and "Dr Vikram Sarabhai". It goes on to recount the rich history of ISRO. The story of cold war enemies coming together of India's first rocket launch. Or how there was a perfect leader to continue ISRO's growth after Sarabhai. As Harsha says, "Serendipity was Indian space programme's best friend and ally during its early years."
Another useful characteristic of this podcast is that it relates the International Space History along with the Indian counterpart.
The theme of the series created by Raghu Dixit with Suraj Gulvady and Madhav Ayachit is so so good. The Indian classical music mixed with tunes of satellite signals and a drum beat to go along, the theme has it all!
The way it has been incorporated within various episodes along with Harsha's narration is truly mesmerizing. We hear the theme twice in an episode. Once, after introduction to the day's topic and later right at the end while credits are rolling. Both times it feels you with joy and pride. You have to listen to the podcast to understand my feelings. Get a feel for it in the trailer for Mission ISRO with Harsha Bhogle.
The trailer opens with the dialogue between two Indians, one in Space and one here on the ground. Indira Gandhi and Rakesh Sharma's iconic conversation about India being 'Saare Jahan Se Acha'. Based on the trailer, it feels the podcast series will end right here, on 4th April 1984, when the first and only Indian was orbiting the planet.
The first episode of the series released on 21st August. Since then, every Friday, a new episode of the series is released. Until now, ATS studio has released nine episodes.
Saare Jahan Se Acha:
The episode narrates the story of the birth and childhood of Dr Homi Bhabha and Dr Vikram Sarabhai.
After convincing NASA to support India establish a sounding rocket station, Dr Sarabhai and his team need to find the right location.
The Rocket's Red Glare:
A pool of young scientists including Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, visit NASA to understand Rocket Science.
'Gee Whiz Wonderful Rocket Shot':
The story of India's first rocket launch - how our scientists and engineers managed the feat against all odds.
The 'Other' Space Race:
The race of getting United Nation's sponsorship for a Sounding Rocket Launching Station near the Magnetic Equator (Pakistan was part of this race).
The end of an era:
After the sudden deaths of Prime Minister Nehru and Dr Bhabha, even Dr Sarabhai departs after starting multiple missions.
A new leader arrives, but reluctantly:
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi invites Prof Satish Dhawan to return from Caltech, USA and lead the child of Dr Sarabhai.
The story of India's first satellite.
The "idiot box", a good teacher!:
My favourite mission of ISRO. No, it's not Mangalyaan or Chandrayaan. It is SITE: Satellite Instructional Television Experiment.
Computer, put a hold! Don't launch it:
India's first launch vehicle SLV-3 takes the first flight.
Credits for the Mission ISRO with Harsha Bhogle Series
Narrated by – Harsha Bhogle
Producer – Gaurav Vaz
Research & Interviews – Archana Nathan
Written by – Archana Nathan & Nupur Pai
Narrative overview – Sidin Vadukut & Devaiah Bopanna
Editing – Gaurav Vaz & Supriya Nair
Transcription – Anushka Mukherjee
Title Track, Sound Design, Background Score – Raghu Dixit
Audio Production Assitance – Suraj Gulvady
Audio Engineering Support & Editing – Madhav Ayachit
Recorded at Island City Studios, Mumbai by – Supratik Das