India Sends Probe to Mars

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#1 Posted by Allicrombie (24817 posts) -

check it out, our little India is all grown up!

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Next week, India is set to launch a probe bound for Mars. It's a big moment for a country that has spent the last 50 years quietly tinkering away on space research while NASA and the European Space Agency have gotten all the glory. And it's a thumb in the eye of China, whose own Mars ambitions came apart in 2011 when technical issues forced Beijing to abandon its launch.

But even though India might benefit from beating China to the red planet, experts say gaining an edge back on Earth is the last thing scientists at ISRO, India's space agency, have on their minds. Unlike the space race of the Cold War, where getting to the moon first held important geopolitical ramifications, India's interest in space — much like China's — is very closely tied to its economic goals.

"To think that India's going to the moon and Mars because of some cynical ploy to engage in one-upsmanship with the Chinese is wrong," says John Sheldon, a national security analyst and founder of The Torridon Group, a strategy firm.

India's space program might be obscure to most, but millions of Indians are beneficiaries of it. Not in the American sense that it's produced fun inventions like Tang and Velcro, says Dean Cheng, a scholar at the Heritage Foundation. Instead, the country realized early on that satellites would enable health officials to practice medicine remotely, reaching inaccessible parts of the country. The same was true for remote education. ISRO's major focus, in other words, has been to use space research as a way to overcome the country's (still) steep economic obstacles.

"For every rupee invested," Sheldon adds, "there is a return for regular Indian people in terms of what that program provides."

Space exploration is a little bit different; it doesn't provide same direct economic benefits as building new imaging technologies or figuring out how to put something into geosynchronous orbit over Earth. Still, the tie-in to development is plainly clear: Countries that venture into outer space become part of an exclusive scientific club. Membership means being taken seriously in international circles. And that might be just as important for India's future as figuring out how to feed, shelter and clothe the next few hundred million people who'll be born there by 2050.

Even though politics might influence budgetary decisions about space policy, says Cheng, competition isn't a driving factor.

"When we look at top-tier Asian space powers," he says, "Japan, India, China — all of these countries went into space for their own reasons. They did not go into space because somebody else went into space. ... Space is the dreadnought of the 21st century, or the automobile. You cannot make a claim about having moved beyond mid-level status unless you have a real space program."

And today, that means sending a mission to Mars.

Source

#2 Posted by GOGOGOGURT (4468 posts) -

It's not a probe if it doesn't come back. I'm working on it.

#3 Posted by indzman (15376 posts) -

Good for india. I wonder when they will send me to Mars =P

#4 Edited by BranKetra (46506 posts) -

Hopefully, improvements to Indian education lead to the end of that country's caste system or whatever remains of it.

#5 Edited by comp_atkins (30763 posts) -

good for them. hopefully we can get more nations doing this kinda stuff.

#6 Posted by Pirate700 (46418 posts) -

It's not a probe if it doesn't come back. I'm working on it.

There's a 'thank you, come again' joke in there somewhere. :P

#7 Posted by johnd13 (7357 posts) -

Way to go indzman! =P

#8 Edited by GazaAli (21479 posts) -

Good for India, its growing more ambitious I see.

#9 Edited by TheFlush (5324 posts) -

Yay India!! We need more space programs.

#10 Posted by wis3boi (30269 posts) -

the more countries turn to space, the cheaper and more efficient it can hopefully get.

#11 Edited by Jd1680a (5824 posts) -

More international support to help achieve deeper goals in the future. US, Russia, Japan, China, India and Europe could come together in funding by sending probes to Jupiter and Saturn.

#12 Edited by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -


Prolly for long distance customer service.

#13 Posted by HoolaHoopMan (7505 posts) -

Very good for India. Scientific endeavors are great areas and projects that can help bring nations together when they usually wouldn't. Its good to see another country entering farther into the foray of space.

#14 Edited by iampenguin (223 posts) -
#15 Posted by indzman (15376 posts) -
#16 Edited by iampenguin (223 posts) -
#17 Posted by Crunchy_Nuts (2722 posts) -

This is good news.

#18 Posted by iowastate (7873 posts) -

Marvin the Martian is wearing his cast iron underwear - he doesn't want to get 'probed'

it is about time someone gave those aliens payback for sending ships to earth picking on our hillbillies.

isn't it odd that the only people that are taken into a ship and probed are from the Ozarks or somewhere like that?

#19 Edited by Dogswithguns (10593 posts) -

Send all Indians people to mars too, ... plz

#20 Edited by BravoOneActual (521 posts) -

Sari, folks but am I somose get excited about this total naan issue?! All they're trying to do is curry favor from the international press.

#21 Edited by EnoshimaJunko (174 posts) -

Part of me is glad for India for this big win for their space program (its about time other nations got interested in outer space). Part of me is like "maybe you guys should've put that money into bettering the living conditions in your country first".

#22 Edited by foxhound_fox (85264 posts) -

Hopefully, improvements to Indian education lead to the end of that country's caste system or whatever remains of it.

Good luck. Religion is the life blood of India, and has been for longer than most civilizations have been and gone.

#23 Posted by foxhound_fox (85264 posts) -

Hopefully, improvements to Indian education lead to the end of that country's caste system or whatever remains of it.

Good luck. Religion is the life blood of India, and has been for longer than most civilizations have been and gone. India will likely be the last country to make the transition between prevalent religious belief and secularism.

#24 Posted by destinhpark (4700 posts) -
#25 Posted by s_h_a_d_o (1237 posts) -

Sari, folks but am I somose get excited about this total naan issue?! All they're trying to do is curry favor from the international press.

Oh dear... and I thought I was bad. ;)

#26 Posted by ssvegeta555 (2232 posts) -

Sari, folks but am I somose get excited about this total naan issue?! All they're trying to do is curry favor from the international press.

Brilliant. :D

#27 Posted by touchscreenpad (220 posts) -

Oh cool.