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Mars Space

After Successful Launch, India's Mars Orbiter Is On Its Way 166

Posted by timothy
from the david-bowie-on-high-alert dept.
neo12 writes "India has successfully launched a spacecraft to the Red Planet — with the aim of becoming the fourth space agency to reach Mars." As our previous mention of the launch notes, getting to Mars by rocket is a long haul: if all goes well, it will be about 10 months until Mangalyaan reaches orbit.
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After Successful Launch, India's Mars Orbiter Is On Its Way

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @11:36AM (#45336553)

    That is the cost of India's entire space program. The Mars mission is obviously a much smaller percentage of that. So, to the inevitable critics about how poor India should not be investing on a space program, 0.37% of the total budget will not solve poverty problems. Rather, it benefits India more than being a drag on the economy.

    • by _Shad0w_ (127912) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @12:00PM (#45336789)

      Poor India with it's 1.842 trillion USD GDP. It's a G20 member with the 9 largest economy in the world, ffs.

      • by _Shad0w_ (127912)

        Oh, dear lord. I fucked up that post quite horrendously, didn't I?

      • by Immerman (2627577) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @12:29PM (#45337067)

        Are you disingenuous on purpose? 1.8 trillion isn't exactly a huge GDP, much less for a nation the size of India. Let's look at a few examples

        ___GDP (USD)...population...per-capita GDP
        US.......15.68T......313M.....$49,965
        UK.........2.44T.......63M.....$38,514
        China.....8.23T...1,351M.......$6,091
        Nigeria....262b......168M......$1,555
        India......1.82T...1,237M......$1,489

        So basically India has an economy the size of Brasil, spread across 6x as many people, or alternately a population the size of China, but with 4x less money. I'd call that pretty poor unless you're using Africa as your measuring stick.

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @12:03PM (#45336831) Journal

      If they can pull it off, it tells Pakistan, "We can land a nuke on Islamabad just as easily as we send a probe to Mars." This is exactly how the US-USSR space race played out. The Apollo and Soyuz programs were all about demonstrating the capacity of missile technology.

      • by petes_PoV (912422) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @12:39PM (#45337183)

        it tells Pakistan

        You don't need a Mars misson for that. All of India's (and China's, too) neighbours are very well aware that the space-faring nations already have the abillity to drop anything they please on them.

        No, this mission is an advertising campaign to promote India's already successful space launch industries. The fact that this mission is so much cheaper (if not yet successful: a major factor in the cost of american missions is employing all those 1,000's of staff at western rates of pay. And if the mission does make it to Mars, and continues to run to well past it's planned failure date then the mission just costs more) is part of the "we can launch your satellites AND we have much lower costs" message that the world will hear and take note of.

        It might even do some science, too.

      • by cusco (717999) <brian...bixby@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @01:35PM (#45337787)

        Maybe to the politicians and generals, but not to anyone else. Sergey Korolev told a Soviet general, "What we are doing is much more important than your bombs." The Saturn V was useless as a weapon, nothing about the Apollo launches was useful militarily except the spinoff technology, and the general public in both countries didn't cower in fear. Historical revisionism is fun and entertaining, though not always all that accurate.

      • by maroberts (15852)

        India already is a nuclear power with rocket capability. Going to Mars doesn't tell Pakistan anything new.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        A Pakistan / India war would not need weapons that enter orbit.
        It would be like Nevada building ICBMs to get to Idaho.

      • Yes, but that was back in the 60ies. Today both Pakistan and India own nukes. See the comments from the others below for the actual reason.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      it would build hell of a lot of sewers.
      just saying.

      and dunno if the total number is that low even.. most of their space related expenses are actually ballistics etc. military stuff they don't actually need(they do need however plenty of footmen, because it isn't exactly a pinnacle of stability, something that building sewers would actually help).

      • by cusco (717999)

        The launch cost less than a steel magnate's daughter's wedding just a couple of years ago. If the problem is just money that's the place to go to get it, not robbing the country's future development. Were you one of the people who scoffed when Indira Gandhi revealed the country's plan to expand the secondary and educational system and universities, squawking that "They're wasting money while people are starving"? Now those educated people bring vast amounts of income into the country, which their space p

    • Don't forget, that when a country is working on firsts, especially in a space program, it unites the country. India is already united (aside from religious problems that plague the entire planet) in it's still recent independence from British rule, and so this must be very exciting for Indians.
    • At $72m (£45m), the mission is comparatively cheap, but some commentators have still questioned whether a country with one of the highest rankings for childhood malnutrition in the world should be spending millions on a mission to the Red Planet.

      If you are talking about this budget, then it does not really mean anything. This is the budget for this testing project but is not comparable to a real project. When it comes to a real project, launching is only a small part and cost for the whole project. Yes, the country benefit for this test, but is it really worth to put a lot more money into another program for a real thing? That is my big question...

    • Moreover, to those critics, realize that "it's in a different country" isn't a really good reason why we're exempt from such criticism as well. Just because there are poor people in a different country doesn't make it exclusively that country's moral obligation. The money and resources our country puts into military hardware it doesn't actually need could feed a lot of hungry mouths. So to anyone who would criticize India's priorities, go ahead and criticize the US's as well.
  • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @11:37AM (#45336555) Homepage

    Jai Hind!!

    Awesome work guys. Hopefully in 10 months we'll be seeing stories about how it's entered orbit, and not stories about something going wrong.

    • They are a democracy and use metric at home. We're in uncharted territory when it comes to first-time to Mars.

    • +1, go kick some ass on the red planet India. The more people involved in space exploration the better. (:
  • If getting to Mars by rocket is a long haul, does that mean there is a shorter way?

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      yes, a continuously powered non-ballistic trajectory. possible with alternative technologies to chemical fuel rockets

    • Yes but it requires putting nuclear reactors into space. Public opinion is against this for some reason.
  • At least in space you won't be able to hear the incessant honking of the rocket's horn; a distinction among India's vehicles.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The amount of racism in some of these posts disgust me.

  • ... I hope mission control don't mind waiting on the phone for 20 mins to Helpdesk , then going through a 5 level automated menu which asks them all their details , only to be finally put through to a human who asks all the same details again in an unintelligable accent and then be asked if they're sure the spacecraft is heading for the correct planet and could they double check, Then be put on hold once more and be passed to the customer satisfaction survey dept by mistake.

    • Stop modding up racist comments. They are not funny.

      • by Viol8 (599362)

        *sigh* The liberal lefty knee jerk repost of last resort. I hate to break the news to you but people just laugh at simpletons like you now.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          Its a racist comment. Based on your defensive reply, you know it.

          Being racist isn't OK becasue you were 'just joking'.

          • by Viol8 (599362)

            So which exact part was racist? Be specific. Are Indians a race now because I thought they were a nationality?

        • Is this the standard response now when racists are called on their bullshit? Start firing back with words like "liberal" and "lefty" as if they're insults?

          Fuck you, you conservative racist prick. Fuck you to high heaven.

  • Good Lord! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kaatochacha (651922) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @01:39PM (#45337851)

    Can't anyone just say "Good Job India, well done, best of luck on your launch and let's hope everything goes OK, welcome to the club"?
    Slashdot is the last place I'd expect huge amounts of "Well, if we can't fix all our problem on Earth, we should never go into space".
    Because YOU WILL NEVER SOLVE ALL YOUR PROBLEMS ON EARTH.
    Sigh.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      We can try. Fatalism is not for everyone.

  • Good luck.

  • After Unsuccessful Launch, India's Mars Orbiter Is On Its Way.

    For what subset of launches that result in the mars orbiter being on its way could NOT be described as 'successful'?

  • Indian regime is spending $1 billion/year on space research where 836 million of their people are starving on 50 cents/day wage slavery.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2480424/VISUAL-EDIT-India-little-better-Ethiopia.html [dailymail.co.uk]
    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/836-million-indians-live-on-less-than-rs-20-a-day/47645-7.html [in.com]

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