Dear Vishi, this is my daily log on Oct 10, 2023.
I recently came across a video where ISRO scientists were seen breaking a coconut, while their NASA counterparts shared "lucky peanuts".
The ritual of breaking a coconut is a customary practice not just in ISRO, but across various regions in India. The coconut, seen as a symbol of selflessness, is offered to ensure a successful venture. For ISRO, this has become a tradition before every satellite launch. Scientists and engineers break a coconut and offer prayers at a local shrine near the launch pad at the Sriharikota Range, hoping for a successful mission.
The tradition of lucky peanuts at NASA dates back to the Ranger missions in the 1960s. After facing six failures with Ranger missions aimed at the moon, the team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) opened peanuts for good luck during the Ranger 7 launch. When the mission was a success, the "lucky peanuts" ritual was born. Since then, it has become customary for JPL staff to munch on peanuts during critical mission events, hoping for favorable outcomes.