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Space missions and research showcases the cutting edge technology capabilities of a intellectually capable nation. We know Indian scientists are gifted, and they are at least as good as their western counterparts. Space systems are the backbone of broadcasting, communication, remote sensing and meteorological services. The add value, and make life easier for the citizens of a country. But why would a developing country want to explore Moon?

The objective of Chandrayaan-1 according to ISRO is:

The Chandrayaan-1 mission is aimed at high-resolution remote sensing of the moon in visible, near infrared(NIR), low energy X-rays and high-energy X-ray regions.

Why do they want to do this? What do we achieve from such a mission costing 386 crore rupees? Mapping of the moon surface and research on water on its surface. I totally agree to the point that we learn a lot in harnessing the payload, space craft or rather lunar craft with ground support systems. There is a lot of learning, no doubt. But the question is whether such a learning worth the cost? ISRO says 386 crore is not a big sum. May be it is not when you compare it to the kind of money NASA blows on space missions, but for a developing country it sure is a big amount.

India is a country which still imports outdated fighter jets to fight the enemies, lacks good intelligence services to curb the terrorist activities, lacks the funds to provide good education, lacks funds to help the flood and other natural calamity affected citizens, fails to defend its border from infiltrating and encroaching neighbors, doesn’t pay enough for the jawans guarding it’s borders day and night without caring for their life. Amidst all these issues, that never gets addressed, a mission to Moon to showcase the capabilities of ISRO and Indian space technology is considered more important.

Why don’t we build better defense systems than build Satellite Launch Vehicles? Why don’t we spend money in teaching geography to underprivileged children than shell out millions on mapping the surface of Moon? Why don’t we pay better salaries to army jawans than handling bigger payloads?

Let’s leave the space research to the American organizations, there is no need for our Indian organizations to take up such missions. Brilliant Indian scientists can go to a rich and developed nation like USA or France or Russia for flexing their brain muscles for research in space. For the love of our motherland, lets solve problems at grass root levels if possible. There is no need for India to compete for pride in space missions with communistic principled China, where citizens’ opinions are no better than that of animals, as US did with USSR a few decades ago. US can afford to look for water in Mars or a spec of dirt on any heavenly body, contentious to be called a planet, but not a country like India where bare minimum essentials are not met.

I wish the Chandrayaan-1 mission is a success, and hope our government does not encourage any future endeavors with such magnanimity.

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