Another feather in ISRO's cap

So ISRO talent hits another success. India has successfully launched the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket, this time with 4 satellites. This mission marks quite a few achievements for India:
  1. This was the first time Indian scientist provided the PSLV rocket to launch satellites for other countries viz. Argentina and Indonesia. This will open up market for us to provide services to many other countries who don't have the required technology for such launch or do not have the required infrastructure. It has two fold advantage - first obviously money and second is prestige.
  2. With this launch we have taken a step towards the manned moon mission. This rocket also carried a Space Capsule that would return to earth after 13 days. This is just a test for the re-entry mechanism that our scientists have developed.
For technical details about this launch, read: PSLV Successfully Launches Four Satellites

This is a significant step towards our vision India 2020 and in turn the manned moon mission. The experts are saying that US will be accelerating their next manned mission to Moon, just to re-establish their position.

Since I am on this topic of the space missions, it would not be out of place to see if these space missions are justified are not. I have been hearing the argument from many people that a poor country like India should not be wasting such enormous money on moon missions. Instead it should be spent on people below poverty line. But I feel that's not entirely true. Even though these missions need lot of money, they definitely help in creating the wealth. Whether it's a moon mission or just a satellite launch, all of them definitely provide a lot of benefites:
  • Lot of people get work in terms of manufacturing the spare parts, supporting the infrastructure required for such large institutes.
  • When the institute gets bigger, it encourges it's employs to stay nearby permenantly, thus promoting the various other industries such as construction, hotel, automotives etc.
  • In addition it also helps in reducing the brain-drain by providing challenging work to our own talent. If these opportunities wouldn't have been there we would have lost many scientists to western countries like USA.
  • Such successful events contribute greatly to keep the national moral high. You can see how much good you would feel when you realize that you are now directly competing with USA, the super power. :)
  • Now we are seeing a possibilty that Moon could be a good place to generate energy for longer space missions. So it has become all the more crucial that we should head for the manned moon mission and then have our own permenant station out there.
On the contrary, the biggest disadvantage that I can see is the amount of money that we spend in purchasing the fuel required for such launches. But given the fact that we can now commercialize such launchings, at least part of the expenses should cover the fuel costs.

So in my opinion, we should definitely continue with our manned mission on Moon. Three cheers to ISRO!!!

Related article: ISRO Plans for Manned Space Mission - Is the Price Tag Justified ?

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