What are the benefits of the ISRO MOM Mars Mission for India’s economy and society?

With Yesterdays Successful insertion of Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) into Martian orbit the Journey has just began for India.Reminds me of quotation from Star Trek

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

This project is aimed as a “technology demonstrator”. It will showcase and prove the capability for inter-planetary missions The launch was made using PSLV-XL C25 rocket The orbiter will have a life of 6 to 10 months in the orbit While orbiting Mars the orbiter will study surface features, minerals and atmosphere on Mars There are 5 main instruments on the orbiter

  • Lyman-Alpha Photometer (LAP)
  • Methane Sensor For Mars (MSM)
  • Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA)
  • Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS)
  • Mars Colour Camera (MCC)

First Criticism and cynicism

  • Economist Jean Dreze of the Delhi School of Economics told CNN that the money would have been better spent on public health or solar energy, and was quoted in the BBC as lamenting how the mission “seems to be part of the Indian elite’s delusional quest for superpower status.”
  • Some have argued that this money should be spent on feeding the poor, economic stimulus, higher education.
  • Others have argued that the intellectual talent should be used only for projects of direct immediate benefit – not long term projects such as this.
  • Still others have argued that national pride and confidence are not important to growth and development.

From Here on I will mix my own opinion and various sources to answer .I too was skeptical and there are as many supportive arguments and as many opposite ones and after reading for hours on this topic I came to conclusion that no one is giving the complete picture and like all good upsc students we write what we know not what was asked.

First the Budget : 

MOM budget
Mars mission budget comparison via WSJ



These two Images tell a lot about the cost and  budget and ISRO’s annual budget is about one billion dollars( 0.34 percent of India’s budget), compared to $17.7 billion for NASA, $7.9 billion for Russian agency, $5.6 billion for the European Space Agency and $ 2.5 billion for China

Seeing it as an isolated Mission not as a scientific achievement is the main reason for all the criticism it is attracting.The DPSP in our constitution clearly states that “To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform”.How will a country attract the world and its youth towards science ? with out any achievements ?

Curiosity is the root of human development and today’s Technology was all possible because of the so many scientists and their curiosity and MOM is also one such scientific step who knows where it will take us ?

If I tell you that Malaria is spread by Mosquitoes you will treat it as common knowledge or worse a prelims bit,but it took Sir Ronald Ross and years of hard work to prove to world how malaria is spread and it saved millions of life from then on .Microscope saved more lifes than any thing and the Skeptics arguing for more bathrooms than MOM are aware of the health risk of open defecation is only because of science.

MOM is not an isolated issue, the main issue is budget of ISRO to show its impact on India.The amount we waste really else where can be used for more scientific research, the lack of policy and freedom to ISRO from political circles also crippled it to large extent.

A number (here USD 72 million) doesn’t mean much in isolation. Let’s put it in some perspective:

  • Andhra Pradesh Land Scam(2012) — USD 15 billion  Reddy’s land doles cost Andhra Rs 1 lakh crore: CAG
  • Forex Scam (2012)– USD 4.9 billion Rs 32,000 crore forex scam forgotten!
  • Maharashtra Irrigation Scam (2012) — USD 11 billion Maharashtra govt in crisis, all NCP ministers quit
  • 2G Scam — USD 27 billion Total money spent on VIP Security just in Delhi: USD 552 million ‘8049 cops, Rs 341 cr spent on VIP security in Delhi’
  • Loan Waiver of Andhra and Telangana Both, together could be anywhere between Rs 80,000 crore to Rs 1.20 lakh crore.

The mission might not show immediate results but it will help ISRO to attract more joint ventures and more technology tranfer and better attract Indian brains from leaving the country.It will inspire a nation.

This is letter of a yound kid who god inspired it speaks louder than all my words put together.

mars studnet

This is a MEME I loved it 😛 Just for fun .


Due to technical problems in my theme I am unable to add links or edit posts in better manner,please come back as I will try to rectify the problems and update the links and suggested reading.And will complete the post.

1 thought on “What are the benefits of the ISRO MOM Mars Mission for India’s economy and society?”

  1. respected sir,i am very happy to see india becoming stronger in technology and space ,now we are able to launch our own spaceship and sattelites,mom is one of the example of it .
    sir i am ece student and i want to join isro because i have that quality to research and invent new things ,i have made lots of project of my own ,please guide me how to crack isro exam,thank you sir


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