Through the lens of Satyendra Pakhalé

Satyendra Pakhalé looks to the moon, and beyond, in discussing why we should worry about the moon when there are enough issues on Earth.

"moonwaka", a microgravity object by Satyendra Pakhalé, is the first hiking gauge for space travellers on the moon.

Why worry about the moon when there are enough issues to resolve here on earth?

This is an obvious question I have been asked by many when seeing our first project for "Moon Life"/life on the moon, called "moonwaka".

Yes indeed, there are tons of challenges to be tackled on our Mother Earth. Needing our utmost attention are more and more pressing issues, such as human sanitation, malnutrition and access to education, among others. This is the case in developing countries, as well as the rest of the world.

When one takes a closer look at these challenges, it is obvious that these are system failures. Failures that are mainly due to inequality, where there is also not access to equal opportunities. Above all, the problem lies in not yet having a just society where the value of every human being is the same, as it ought to be.

I would like to recall a speech by Buckminster Fuller where he gave real news of the century about taking care of all humanity - by 1985 - on our planet.

We believe what Bucky said then was, and is still, true. The challenge is just how to get it done in current conflicts, where the failure of the system is the real issue. However, these system challenges cannot be solved with a conventional approach. We need radically new thoughts, new ideas, new ventures and a refreshingly new approach to the challenges we face today.

Travel to outer space, and beyond, is one such possibility that could open up and resolve many of the age-old challenges we face on our spaceship Earth.

We dream of the day when everybody gets to experience "Earthrise" – what a poetic experience that would be! We believe it could happen in our lifetime. Having said that, we are acutely aware of the disaster we might create by flying tons of people to the moon for leisure activities. However, it will provoke new imaginations and aspirations in the hearts and minds of people around the world.

If one sees our lovely planet from outer space, the first thing we notice is that there are no borders. It becomes absolutely clear that national borders are fictional. So many current issues stem from that fiction.

We are all aware of the fact that the more one travels, the more one’s horizons widen up; then how about going beyond our horizons...  And really opening up the vision of “Everyman”. To get a true sense of the world, one would be able to take a trip to outer space and see our beautiful Earth from afar.

Talking about the near future I would like to bring in this short clip where Arthur Clarke talks about predicting the future, way back in 1964.

Yes, there are ideas, especially design ideas that could help shape the world into a better place. Strangely, the complexities and challenges of the current scenarios on our planet can perhaps be resolved by an approach that comes from the unexpected field of design and technology. Or shall we say the fleet of imagination that is beyond the skies above us? We ought to engage with real challenges such as sanitation in the slums of Manila to Mumbai.

However, both these challenges are important and apparently they may not seem to be linked, but they are indeed closely related. The solution to one can come from another.

With this optimism we wanted to engage the fascination of travelling to outer space.

Space travel makes people dream, and soon it is likely to become a reality. The "moonwaka" project evokes questions that are relevant today and for the near future. "moonwaka" is an object that assists hand-eye coordination in microgravity, and evokes a sense of security in first-time Moon travellers. It is a playful monolithic sculptural object with refreshing utilitarian features like the viewfinder, to intuitively feel the changing angle of vision and distances on the Moon’s terrain.

We wanted to create a playful yet utilitarian tool-like object that will help orientation in a micro-gravity environment, such as that of the Moon. An object which will give first-time space travellers a sense of security and direction, and make their endeavour exciting.

The intention is to manufacture "moonwaka" on the Moon, using the material resources available on the Earth’s one and only known natural satellite.

Click here to read more about the "moonwaka". 

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