New Delhi: Indian rocket scientists have made their first music video ahead of India’s 70th Independence Day. While they deal with rocket science during the day, 20-odd members of ‘ROCK@ Band’ (pronounced Rocket Band) make music after sunset.
The members are scientists and engineers at the country’s premier space agency, Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO. The musically-inclined scientists have created the video titled ‘I am an Indian’.
To boost the morale of their colleagues working on India’s second foray to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, slated for launch early next year, the video shows an animation of the Indian flag being planted on the lunar surface. The patriotic song, mostly in Malayalam, also talks about building a new nation and seeks to put an end to violence.
The band emphasizes there is no political message in their video. “It is just a positive message from our hearts to our fellow Indians, where we try to depict an India in our dreams. This is the culmination of a long-term plan and is in no way connected to the present or past political scenarios,” one of the band members said.
Chandrayaan-1, India’s maiden mission to the moon, landed the tri-colour on the lunar surface in 2008 but the second mission, which involves a lander and a rover, hopes to soft-land and unfurl India’s flag on the moon. The other countries that have planted their flags on the moon are Russia, USA, Japan and China.
Aerospace engineer Shiju G Thomas, who penned the the lyrics and composed the music said, “We are all busy with many, many rocket launches and we got spare time sparingly and out of love for the country, we decided to make and dedicate this video to Indians.” Mr Thomas had worked extensively on the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MK III (GSLV Mk III), often called the `Baahubali’.
The scientists took over 18 months to make the video and spent Rs. 10,000 from their pockets. The project is supported by the Space Engineers Association (SEA).
The director of the music video was actively involved in the making and testing of India’s very own `space shuttle’ or the Re-usable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD), launched successfully on May 23, 2016. “We did this as a fun activity and officially it has nothing to do with ISRO. It’s just that all the talent is from among the scientists and engineers of ISRO,” said aerospace engineer Ganesh Mohan.
The music video was shot on the coast of the Arabian Sea and made as part of the recreational activities supported by the Space Engineers Association, a body that boasts of nearly 4,000 members in Thiruvanthapuram alone, the ISRO’s hub of all rocketry.
Mr Thomas said “We have a lot of talent in ISRO, making rockets comes naturally to many of us while making music is tough but it is not a rocket science.”