After countries like Russia, the United States or China, the next country exploring and travelling through space is the fabulous India. The Asian nation is responsible for the recent launching of the spacecraft Mangalyaan, which is successfully on its way to Mars, a very ambitious goal previously achieved only by the United States and Europe. The launch of the satellite that will soon be orbiting the Red Planet was such a sign of evolution in the country that it was even broadcasted by local television stations.
Weighing 1,350 pounds, the Mangalyaan will travel for 300 days in direction to Mars, where it should arrive on September 2014, after traveling 400 million kilometers. At the time of the launching, Deviprasad Karnik, spokesman for the Indian Space Research Organization, said that this was India’s “modest beginning in interplanetary missions”. Modest?! They are going to explore the Red Planet! The spacecraft will orbit around the red planet and study its surface topography and atmosphere, focusing on the search for methane and probably opening doors to new space travellers, like others opened for India.
The fact that more and more countries keep joining the race of space exploration is positive: it reveals how fruitful the past experiences were. From the first experience, the Russian satellite Sputnik I launched in 1957, to the current privately funded projects that include leisure trips and space tourism. India is “only” the sixth country trying to get to Mars, but it won’t be the last, for sure. We count on that to keep the evolution going!
With a price tag of $73 million, the Indian mission only cost one-tenth of the value of similar American missions and was developed in just 15 months by a thousand scientists. This shows that we can go even further with less investment, but always keeping a close eye on safety.
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