India, the New Kid in Space
India’s low-cost Mars mission enters orbit on first attempt, PM Modi says ‘history has been created’
The success of the Mars Orbiter Mission, lauded for its low price tag of $74 million, will boost India’s five-decade-old space program that newly-elected prime minister Narendra Modi aims to expand with better infrastructure and technology.
Great Job Done!
The first time I heard that India had sent a probe to Mars, it wasn’t presented as a scientific and technological achievement to celebrate, but as a tragedy to mourn. It was argued that poor nations shouldn’t waste money going into space, instead they should concentrate on building toilets and poverty alleviation. Blogs all of a sudden were put up to debate the matter, such as: Should India be sending a rocket to Mars when 40% of children are malnourished? Vote now.
However, what wasn’t being told was that Indian young scientists are about to pull off something that has never been done before, and as close to a miracle as you could possibly get in Space exploration, namely:
#1. Success on first time attempt!!
#2. Time – 18 months vs. “other countries’ space vehicles have taken six years or more to build”.
#3. Low cost – $72 million vs. $671 million.
#4. The average age of India’s 2,500-person Mars team is 27 years old. (you may as well say “the Kids stole the show!)”.
Mangalayaan has so far covered nearly 466 million kilometres or nearly 70 per cent of its arduous 680 million kilometre-long journey.
India’s Mars orbiter, Mangalyaan, is perhaps the country’s most audacious and successful example of jugaad so far. A boxy probe built by scientists in just 15 months for the paltry sum of £46m ($75m) – less than the cost of the average Hollywood blockbuster film – Mangalyaan has completed more than half of its perilous journey to the red planet.
It is only a few days behind Nasa‘s Maven probe, which is propelled by powerful Atlas V and Centaur rockets.
If Mangalyaan enters Martian orbit in September to survey the topography and sniff out evidence of methane, a key sign of life, India will enter the history books as a pioneering nation. It will be Asia’s first country to carry out a successful Mars mission. Japan, China and 21 other countries have failed.