After establishing their hegemony on planet Earth, the leading economic and military powers are now vying for other celestial bodies mainly moon.Space missions

Virendra Singh Rawat

After establishing their hegemony on planet Earth, the leading economic and military powers are now vying for other celestial bodies mainly moon.

While countries like USA and Russia have proven their mettle in advanced space technologies, developing economies like China and India have also joined the race.

Although India has had some success in developing and testing frugal technology in the space sciences, a lot is still left to be achieved.

In mid July 2023, India’s space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is slated to launch its Chandrayan-3 mission for a lunar odyssey.

In 2019, Chandrayan-2 mission could not achieve its prime objective of safely landing indigenously developed lunar explorer Vikram. It crash landed at the final moments of the otherwise successful lunar mission of ISRO.

Nonetheless, ISRO has certainly made a mark in the global outer space commercial market by sending a low cost vehicle to Mars, as well as launching a clutch of satellites of other countries in a fraction of cost incurred by other leading space agencies.

Yet, the ultimate reckoning still eludes ISRO. Now, the bets are placed on the success of the ambitious Chandrayan-3 mission.

Meanwhile, ISRO has collaborated with USA in future space programmes under the Artemis umbrella. Under Artemis, India will get access to the cutting edge US space technologies and unmatched training and development ecosystem.

Other Artemis signatories include France, Japan and Australia, which makes the grouping a potent platform to boost space research and explorations.

It is no brainer that the economic prowess of a country plays a key role in furthering space programmes.

The space missions need humongous funding. Chandrayan-3 alone is estimated to cost Rs 600 crore to the exchequer. Future projects would not come cheaper either. Yet the plausible benefits are one too many to ignore.

The stupendous economic growth achieved by India over the past decade has paved the way for the country to make a greater pitch on this highly tech driven pathway.

India is making headway in cutting edge technologies and research including space, data sciences, software development, medicine etc.

Now, the time is ripe for India to demonstrate its capability by on-grounding some of these projects with or without external assistance.

Experts believe that once India enters the league of advanced space technology nations, the country would reap several many economic benefits in decades to come. It would reduce India’s dependence on other countries and their space agencies for critical space related technologies.

Moreover, in such ensuing space wars, there are no losers, but only winners. The space missions are aimed at demystifying universe, origins of life, evolution of humans and possible future journey of mankind to other plants or even galaxies.

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We can keep our fingers crossed for the time being!

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