India Mars Mission to Launch Amidst Overwhelming Poverty

India Mars mission to launch amidst overwhelming poverty

With India’s heavily publicized Mars mission slated for a Tuesday launch, many see the momentous occasion as the country’s attempt to vie for technological supremacy against the Chinese. The situation almost seems reminiscent of the uncompromising space race fought between the United States and Russia, which commenced during the mid-20th century.

However, in a time when many Indian citizens are struggling to survive, amidst overwhelming poverty and an ailing economy, the event has sparked considerable controversy.

The Mars Orbiter Mission

The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also unofficially called Mangalyaan, is all set for its much-anticipated launch on Nov. 5, 2013, at 2:38 p.m. The mission was previously due for launch during late October. Alas, the date was pushed back to early November, as a result of a delay in one of the ships that was transporting radars to the South Pacific, deemed

Mars Orbiter Mission Stages and Info

The stages planned by the Indian Space Research Organization for its upcoming Mars Orbiter Mission.

critical to the mission’s success.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has previously described their attempts as a technology demonstrator, with the primary ambition involving the design, planning and management of an interplanetary mission.

The Indian government gave the mission the go-ahead on Aug. 3, 2012, with the announcement made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during his annual address from a 17th-century fort complex in Delhi, called Red Fort.

The space agency started with both technological and scientific objectives. In terms of technological innovation, they aimed to manufacture and launch a Mars orbiter that was capable of withstanding Earth bound maneuvers, as well as the length of time required to reach the Red Planet – some 300 days.

Chairman of ISRO K. Radhakrishnan claims that mankind has much to learn about the universe and our solar system. He briefly ruminates over some of the opportunities of the imminent mission:

“We want to use the first opportunity to put a spacecraft and orbit it around Mars and, once it is there safely, then conduct a few meaningful experiments and energize the scientific community.”

Specifically, the scientific research goals are aimed at exploring Martian surface features, including the planet’s morphology and mineralogy, alongside its atmosphere. The orbiter encompasses a number of scientific research instruments, including a Mars color camera and a thermal infrared imaging spectrometer for investigation of the planet’s surface. Meanwhile, a mass analyzer will perform particle environment studies, while photometers and methane sensors will explore its atmosphere.

Although the mission is chiefly designed as a technology demonstrator, ISRO will use its solar-powered instruments to determine precisely how the weather systems of Mars work, and could even yield small insight into how most of the planet’s water disappeared.

The Mars Orbiter Mission probe will lift-off from the First Launch Pad in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, aboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket. The probe will not be dispatched directly to Mars, however. Instead, ISRO plans to send it into orbit around the Earth, use its resulting momentum to perform an intricate series of manoeuvres and then slingshot the satellite into Mars orbit.

Mars Orbiter Mission Instruments

If successful, ISRO would become the fourth organization to successfully reach Mars, after the European Space Agency, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and NASA.

The Poverty Conundrum

Many in the country have objected to vast sums of government money being funnelled into the high-profile project, during a time when much of the country is feeling the biting affects of the global recession. With a faltering economy, and the Indian administration unable to provide its citizens with rudimentary services, many within the beleaguered population are calling into question their leadership’s motives.

A 2013 report, spearheaded by the United Nations, concluded that a third of the world’s poorest people dwell in India. According to a study, entitled The State of the Poor: Where are the Poor and Where are the Poorest?, the country remains a ticking time bomb. With the population destined to reach 1.5 billion by 2026, 20 million new jobs are required each year to prevent the country’s poverty from worsening; however, the Indian economy is not expanding fast enough to compensate for the population boom.

A poor health service, ever-increasing child malnutrition, and limited education and training services, compound unemployment and economic growth.

The Indian government’s actions has sparked international outrage from critics of America and Britain’s aid programs. With both countries providing India with yearly aid, some see the country’s latest space endeavours as an irresponsible and profligate act, merely designed to showcase the developing country’s superpower status.

Regardless of the country’s overwhelming poverty, the Indian space agency’s Mars mission remains set for a Tuesday launch.

By James Fenner

Indian Space Research Organization

The Economic Times

The Times of India

Washington Post

Indian Space Projects

The Telegraph

155 Responses to India Mars Mission to Launch Amidst Overwhelming Poverty

  1. Deepak January 21, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    My dream India rules uk fo 300 yrs and torture them twice/thrice what they did to Indians.

  2. Deepak January 21, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    my dream for the people like James Fenner India ruling UK for 300 years. And torturing them twice/trice what they did to Indians.

  3. Rahul January 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    only a retard can write a heading such as this :) :)

  4. Nikhil Patil November 30, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    This goes to Mr James Fenner. Please read this careully.

    What a refreshing headline! Not even poverty. It has to be “overwhelming poverty”. Who are we to launch into space? Should we not ask our British colonial masters before doing anything?

    Apparently the other countries engaging in scientific research face no poverty. Apparently, space has something to do with poverty. Apparently, it is between funding Isro and solving poverty. You cannot do both. No sir, no. Next time, when you write about something that Britain did well, sure to remember to randomly incorporate the poverty of Birmingham and the riots of London into the title.

    “England wins 10 Olympic golds amidst all the poverty”
    “NASA begins its moon mission despite failing to manage hurricane relief”
    “European Space Agency launches a satellite despite the inability to control religious riots in Paris and Tottenham, London”.

  5. nikhil233ikhi November 30, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    This goes to Mr James Fenner and Guradian Editors. Please read this carefully.

    What a refreshing headline! Not even poverty. It has to be “overwhelming poverty”.
    Who are we to launch into space? Should we not ask our British colonial masters before doing anything?

    Apparently the other countries engaging in scientific research face no poverty. Apparently, space has something to do with poverty. Apparently, it is between funding IISRO and solving poverty. You cannot do both. No sir, no. Next time, when you write about something that Britain did well, sure to remember to randomly incorporate the poverty of Birmingham and the riots of London into the title.

    “England wins 10 Olympic golds amidst all the poverty”
    “NASA begins its moon mission despite failing to manage hurricane relief”
    “European Space Agency launches a satellite despite the inability to control religious riots in Paris and Tottenham, London”.

  6. jv73 November 25, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Yes I agree that most of Indians per capita income is very less they may not afford proper food all the times but as a nation we will overcome it soon, but that is not in the cost of getting rid of all other activities. We will explore even pluto and do farming in mars to eradicate our poverty.

  7. Jyothis November 25, 2013 at 4:14 am

    India is a large country, with each of sector working in different efficiency. Even each state is different from the other, with diversified culture and standard of living, so u can’t just say that India as a whole is not healthy and stable. As the nation becomes bigger, it becomes much more difficult to see changes easily in a fast rate. Please guys when will you learn to appreciate the achievements. And there is nothing like shortage of jobs in India as long as I feel, if someone is ready to do any job, he will get one for sure.

    We have a legacy of astronomy, even before NASA, even most of these developed nations here were born. So we have more right to do it than anyone else.

    About the cost of this mission, it comes to around 4.5 Billion INR, we have a population of 1.237 billion and we don’t think its such a huge amount. We just don’t mind giving 4.5 INR each from our tax money for this mission, so why should other’s be so bothered about it ?

  8. Raymont November 20, 2013 at 3:37 am

    My comment was not shown

  9. Raymont November 20, 2013 at 3:18 am

    Your headlines doesn’t even makes sense. Next time NASA launches a mission, write an article with the headlines ‘NASA launch successful amidst overwhelming national debt’. Are you iodine deficient, you half-witted moron?

  10. Havu November 18, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Dumb stupid & idiot .. (few more times) author. Here are some more titles you may want to write about:

    Queen of England wears a diamond throne amidst slightly less overwhelming poverty on London streets.. should she give it up..

    Royal wedding celebrated with huge expenditure amidst ove….

  11. Brigesh November 18, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    really!!
    Britain should stop wasting money on programs like Top Gear wasting millions of pounds while the poor in England http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/aug/24/child-poverty-social-apartheid-ncb are not able to get the basic needs met, same goes to all the billions in weapons research they spend every year.

  12. roy November 17, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    What an envious moron. Can’t seem to handle India’s space successes! Get a life!!

  13. Rameez November 15, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    This article is in-complete and takes a one-sided view on the subject. Even in doing so, the author doesn’t convincingly put the point either !

  14. Privendra Singh November 15, 2013 at 9:04 am

    For the critics of the British aid program- Please consider the 300mn as a rent for staying in our country for 200 years.

  15. Jatin Bhatt November 15, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Cannot figure out if some points in this article are incredibly racist and written out of an elitist jealousy, or if the writer is an ignorant socialist totally whacked out of his brain.

  16. M K November 14, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I think cheap journalist tries to get some -ve popularity…

  17. SK November 14, 2013 at 9:04 am

    About The Mission cost:

    Many of these journalists cribbing about the cost seem disconnected from India. We spent 450 crores on this mission. Let me put that in context. One of the local cricket teams – Mumbai Indians – alone is worth 1000 crores. Ambani built a home in Mumbai for 5000 crores. Every single day, Indians buy gold jewelry worth 1500 crores. An upcoming Bollywood movie (made about space) is costing over 500 crores. And finally, the Indian central government budget is 17 lakh crores (I actually rounded off this figure and that round-off error alone could fund 130 such missions). India doesn’t have more toilets, not because we don’t have extra 450 crores, but because of our poor execution of things. Don’t heap your blame on poor Isro for India’s social conditions.

    Ironically, a non-trivial portion of this poverty & hunger is due to the colonization under a power from where you are writing these articles.

  18. SK November 14, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Guardian’s editor should through away this stupid reporter who UNNECESSARILY puts a stupid title…SHAME on you! and on Guardian…if they don’t take any action against the reporter.
    ——————————————————————————————————-
    Here is a part of a report from HIS QUOTED reference site (Washington Post)

    …..”We’re pulling for India,” said Bruce Jakosky, project leader for the U.S. spacecraft. “The more players we have in space exploration the better.”

    NOW SEE HERE YOU stupid reporter:
    ”Some of the data (from Mangalyan) will complement research expected to be conducted with a spacecraft NASA will launch later this month, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission, nicknamed MAVEN.”
    _________________________________________________________________
    IF UK STILL HAS THESE STUPID SELF STYLED JOURNALISTS…..DEFINITELY UK WILL ENJOY A DARK FUTURE LIKE IT HAD DURING RENAISSANCE.
    BRAVO MAN….KEEP IT UP !!!
    —————————————————————————————————–
    EDITOR SIR!
    if you don’t correct the TITLE and take necessary action against your reporter, you will encourage titles in near future from OTHER STUPID reporters such as:

    1. “England wins 10 Olympic golds amidst all the poverty”

    2. “NASA begins its moon mission despite failing to manage hurricane relief”

    3. “European Space Agency launches a satellite despite the inability to control religious riots in Paris and Tottenham, London”.

    4. Newton, Michelangelo and da Vinci are wasting time instead of building toilets. [ a prospective article title during European Renaissance]

  19. Lalit kumar November 14, 2013 at 8:18 am

    this article shows that these people afraid of what we (India) are doing, and they will try to rationalize that our mission mars is cheap and useless, so that we do not get any encouragement, this is how world is, and we should do the same to them, i am fully confident that India will have useful space research then any one in this world. Not like them just for show…

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