India's Mission to Mars : A feather in the cap or a waste of money?

India's Mission to Mars : A feather in the cap or a waste of money?

National pride is important for boosting the morale of a country’s population. India’s mission to Mars is not a waste of money at all. It is a feather in the cap of those who have scripted India’s scientific innovations as well as the proud citizens of India. India has always been led by brilliant scientists for achieving significant feats in the field of space research and science.

The Mangalayan craft which costs $73 million is a welcome addition to India’s list of successful space projects. This is a tremendous achievement for an Asian nation because other countries like Japan and China have not been able to accomplish this feat of enabling a satellite to orbit Mars. While spending on social welfare projects is important, it should be balanced with expenditure on other aspects of national growth such as defence projects and scientific missions.

• While economic problems continue to loom along with issues such as corruption and rising crime statistics, many thinkers and activists have argued that national funds should be spent on eliminating these rather than spending it on projects such as Mangalayan.

But, considerable data shows that it is not the lack of funds, but the underutilization of these by key figures in regional and national politics and administration which has played a role in precipitating the socio-economic problems of India.

• Spending an amount of over $70 million on space projects is considered a small investment by international standards. Space missions to Mars by wealthier nations are costlier by comparison. The Mars Rover project initiated by the US is worth $820 million. The Maven project by the US cost $671 million.

The amount of money spent on the project is quite acceptable considering the tens and thousands of rupees wasted each time petty politicians in the Indian parliament bicker constantly and disrupt the proceedings of the house. The hue and cry raised over the money spent by the ISRO on the Mangalayan project is unjustifiable.

• This mission to Mars is of critical importance for the scientific community as well. American and Russian space probes have not provided comprehensive information about the presence of water in Mars. India’s mission could be one of the first to unearth critical evidence regarding the possibility of water on Mars.

• If the Mangalayan project sould find methane or deuterium patterns that signal the presence of water, this can change the way scientists look at the possibility of life on Mars as well as other planets in the solar system.

For years, we have struggled with the question of whether we are alone in the universe or there is/was life on other planets at some point in time. India’s mission to Mars could provide crucial information that can change the way humans look at existence and the universe.

• When Stephen Hawkings recently proposed that he no longer believed in black holes, there was considerable scientific debate on this matter.

Science evolves only if there are further evolutions in the way scientists approach theories regarding space and the universe. Scientific explorations such as India’s mission to Mars can pave the way for further development of studies in fields such as physics, astrophysics and space theory.

• India’s Mars Orbiter Mission has a payload of 15 kilograms and five instruments. It has a modest cost compared to NASA’s Maven mission.

A successful demonstration of the Indian scientific know-how will also attract the attention of investors in fields such as science and space exploration. India has joined the groups of nations such as the US and Russia in taking the first step towards launching a satellite that will orbit the red planet.


If India’s mission to Mars is successful, it will mark the first such venture accomplished by an Asian nation. It will be recalled that China’s probe failed to depart from Earth’s orbit in 2011 and the Japanese Nozomi orbiter could not enter the orbit of the red planet in 2003.

It is essential that India continues on its path towards scientific growth and further space missions so that our amazing scientists at ISRO get a chance to give India its rightful place in the world hierarchy.
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  • RE: India's Mission to Mars : A feather in the cap or a waste of money? -Deepa Kaushik (05/04/14)
  • It is good to hear that India is trying to cope up with the world in the field of exploration of the Universe. India has got really good brains to work out logically and with utmost confidence, provided a fair chance to prove themselves.

    Space exploration is a vast science, with plenty left to be discovered. At the same time, it is a highly costly affair. Government need to spend really a lot for every exploration. It does not only deal with the work of mind and interest of the individual, but involves a lot many other issues to be dealt with, the infrastructure and monetary aspect playing a major role.

    India is still a developing country with a huge population to take care of. We are already facing a lot many issues in relation to the economy of the country and average income of the Indian citizen. With plenty to develop demanding a huge sum of money for the development, we can hardly spare this much amount for the space exploration just to add a star on our cap. This money could be judiciously used for various activities to uplift the living of the citizens or creating employment opportunities.

    Hence, it is a avoidable expenditure for our country which is not going to gain any more than a fame in the least focussed field in the world with a lot many loopholes in the basic amenities.
  • India's Mission to Mars : A feather in the cap or a waste of money? -Farhana Afreen (04/03/14)
  • India's Mission to Mars - a feather in the cap or a waste of money?

    India’s advancements towards new successes and space travels have been debated as a competition for political status and influence in international relations, India’s mission to Mars on Nov. 5 launch has made everyone proud, critics and countrymen alike. India’s first inter-planetary satellite was built by its own indigenous scientists in just about 15 months, at a comparatively lowest cost of $73 million. This is one such achievement that nobody can deny feeling proud to. Mars orbiter, Mangalyaan, is definitely a feather in the cap and at no justification be called a waste of money. Indian economy is wasted in many ways that do not even reap any result but this was a huge achievement that has ignited the minds of youth and encouraged them to trust in their own skills.

    There have been statements from some critics trying to use words like narcissism and distraction at this mission. I am pretty sure that the learnt population of the country very well understands the benefits that India shall reap with this successful mission to Mars. There have been criticisms like India had the motive to competing with China in terms of power and for this very reason it launched this program. They are comparing this achievement to the failure of China’s Yinghuo-1 mission to Mars in November 2011.
    The Indian Space Research Organization’s chief scientist, K. Radhakrishnan, denies such comparisons, saying: “We are in competition with ourselves, in the areas we have charted for ourselves.” For the scientific group of people, which is straightforwardly concerned in highly venturous projects such as the Mars orbiter, it is understandable that they set objectives on the inside and are indomitable to accomplish them. There is no way in which this success could be compared to an ego-clash with China.

    However, the success of this project has alerted the already powerful countries that have started investing more and more to compete with India’s new mission. India is aware that the advancements that it is making in space science can also be a standard for enhancing international collaboration. For example, its Moon missions in 2008 won the International Cooperation Award from the International Lunar Exploration Working Group for get across a payload of as many as 20 countries. As India’s satellite launch ability expands, it can also offer other countries a proposal for joint space ventures and help to alleviate doubts of war.

    There are obvious military applications to India’s space program, and India’s venerable National Satellite System, now seeing its third decade, has long been directly linked to its Integrated Missile Development Program that has built India’s intermediate-range ballistic missiles. At present, India proudly shows off an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Agni V with a target range of 5,000 kilometers. This owes party to the collaboration between the civilian scientific community and the defense industry.

    India’s space mission is certainly a feather in the cap for the low cost in which it could build up the Managalyaan and the globally acknowledged capability of the nation to develop scientifically and technologically. There have been criticisms calling it a waste of money on grounds that the amount which India spends in such innovations and other geographical invasion could have been invested in a more economical way to deal with problems like poverty in India. But for a developing nation, it is a total waste if it could not implement its innovations towards the betterment of the country’s pride and security. As stated by Bill Gates that India shall soon be in no need for aid for it is making voyages to Mars; it is very clear that other countries are appreciating the growing power of India.