June 02: Few months back, the Indian space agency boasted of a manned mission to moon by 2014. But it all seems to be chasing a wild dream now. No doubt the premier space agency in the country has developed advanced systems and improved technological designs but a project like manned mission calls for huge amount of money. It is because of the meager funds that ISRO has withdrawn its plan.
The Chairman of Indian Space Research Organization ISRO, Madhvan Nair has reportedly told that as for now there was no plan to send a man to the moon. While addressing, in the 39 th convocation he told the young IITians of Kanpur to take responsibility in contributing to the development of rural India.
Indian manned mission needs funds equivalent to 20,000 crore and it is really a huge sum for a developing country like India, where despite a plus 9 percent economic growth, basic problems like poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, unemployment, diseases prevail. On one hand there is rapid industrialization and technological developments and on the other there are people dying of hunger. Under these circumstances it is more feasible to focus on these issues rather sending a man to the moon.
Madhavan however confirmed that a spacecraft with a robot would be launched in September, to study and collect data around the moon. The robot has been developed by the students of IIT Kanpur. The manned mission needs a heavy budget and time, which may affect the other ongoing projects. It might have acted as a catalyst in advancing India’s space programmes and also keeping it in the elite country list who have successfully achieved this. Again moon has already been comprehensively explored and no further development is expected.
The decision of ISRO to stop working on Indian manned mission shows its concern to the country as a whole. It is time to invest that money in checking some most important evils like global warming, population growth, energy shortage, etc.
Emphasizing on the energy crisis, Nair also mentioned that there is wide scope to harness solar energy which needs a lot research, to tackle the energy crisis.
Thus, as a pragmatic solution, the first priority should be to enhance the quality of life by fulfilling all necessary needs. India has already gained expertise in weather and communication satellites and Indian space industry is popular for its quality and cost effectiveness. So, a manned mission though holds much importance in international space science arena but we need to first use our scientific and technological breakthroughs in bringing revolutionary changes in our village life. This is the actual need of the hour unlike any manned mission to moon.
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