India began its hopeful economic rise with the launch of its first orbital spaceship, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM). After an almost year-long voyage, Indian scientists entered the orbit of Mars for the bargain price of 4.5 billion rupee ($74 million). This reputation-establishing mission may be the first milestone toward the nation’s advancement, particularly due to its cost-effective production, which was only 11 percent of the cost to produce the U.S. Mayan probe.
“History has been created today,” said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an acknowledgement speech at the Indian Space Research Organization office in Bengaluru. “We have dared to reach out into the unknown and have achieved the near impossible.”
To put into perspective the gravity of the first-run feat, consider that over half of all previous attempts at orbit – 23 out of 41 worldwide – failed to succeed. Prime Minister Modi put the achievement into further jovial perspective stating that, “this mission costs less than it takes to make a Hollywood movie. These are the achievements that will go down as landmarks in history.” The triumph even earned India a technological nod of respect from U.S. NASA, which congratulated them via tweet and welcomed MOM into the elite circle of red planet researchers.
India initially joined space exploration with its first rocket launch in 1963 and followed with its first satellite placement in 1975. The nation later conducted an unmanned mission to the moon, which ended in 2009 and showed the potential for water formation to occur on the moon. In June of this year, their space program launched a rocket carrying five foreign satellites, and did so cost-effectively by using a smaller rocket and payload in order to reduce costs, according to Prime Minister Modi.
These scientific advancements are positioning the country as an inductee into the world of complex missions and proves that the nation is capable of acting as a global contributor to space science. With Prime Minister Modi’s launch of Make in India, a marketing campaign designed to invite industrialists which occurred the following day, in addition to meetings at the White House over subsequent days, it appears that strategic efforts are being made to, hopefully, use the launch of MOM as way to revive the economy.
Prime Minister Modi, who was elected by a landslide after his pledge to revive the economic growth of the nation, recently began his push to expand manufacturing revenue for the economy. The prime minister’s mega-event, Make in India, is a strategic campaign in the nation’s attempt to market itself as a manufacturing hub.
The government released an official statement regarding the campaign, calling it “the first reference point for guiding foreign investors on all aspects of regulatory and policy issues and to assist them in obtaining regulatory clearances.”
This well-timed marketing tactic is proving to be a major economic stimulus for the nation. Combined with the robust scientific capability and strong education system India provides, and the fact that the nation is known for developing highly capable engineers, doctors and software programmers, the launch of MOM has well-positioned India to revive its economy and now the world is watching.
By Bridgette Bryant