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Made in India

Our free-write is back by popular demand: today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less.


India’s space programme has achieved a massive boost with the success of Mangalyaan – the Mars rover which was developed at a very low budget  of approximately $67 million.   But the credit for this must go to the pioneer of the space programme in India Vikram Sarabhai the Father of the Indian space programme, who with other passionate scientists laid down the foundations and helped India develop self-sufficiency in space research.  Today , India can launch satellites for several countries at a shoe-string budget.  Mangalyaan is the cheapest inter-planetary mission to be undertaken anywhere in the world.

Reading “Wings of Fire” the autobiography of Dr. Abdul Kalam gave me a glimpse into the passion and dedication of our pioneering space scientists who laid the foundation for space research .  The success of Mangalyaan is a result of the vision of our pioneers .

In June, ISRO put five foreign satellites into space in a single launch. The main cargo was Spot-7, a high-resolution Earth- observation satellite belonging to European consortium Airbus Defence & Space Co. It also carried four other smaller satellites: one each from the German Aerospace Center and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and two from the Space Flight Laboratory at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies in Canada.

The search for methane in the Martian atmosphere is probably the most significant part of the MOM mission. The Indian spacecraft will also examine the rate of loss of atmospheric gases to outer space. This could provide insights into the planet’s history.

India’s Mars mission has a price tag of about $74 million, a fraction of the $671 million cost of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s latest Mars program.

A success would be an important advertisement for a business India hopes to enter: sending satellites and spacecraft aloft at a fraction of the cost of U.S. and European competitors.

In June, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi boasted that India has spent less to reach Mars than Hollywood producers spent on the movie “Gravity,” which cost $100 million to make.

To hold costs down, India relied on technologies it has used before and kept the size of the payload small, at 15 kilograms. It saved on fuel by using a smaller rocket to put its spacecraft into Earth orbit first to gain enough momentum to slingshot it toward Mars.

Some critics say India, a country where more than 300 million people live on less than $1.25 a day, should concentrate more on terrestrial issues. Others argue that the space program will help to fight poverty and boost development by driving innovation in communications services and meteorological forecasting for the country’s largely agricultural economy.

I believe that if there is one area in which India has done the right thing – it is space research and it will pave the way for tremendous opportunities in the future!

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://thedespicablehuntress.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/the-daily-prompt-ready-set-and-done/
2) http://sayadpoet.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/freedom-relived-daily-prompt/
3) http://fibercompulsion.com/2014/09/25/ready-set-done/
4) http://linusfernandes.com/2014/09/25/ready-set-done-test-of-time/
5) http://anrichinglife.com/2014/09/25/10-minute-challenge/

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