People celebrate as they watch a live broadcast of Chandrayaan-2 inside an electronics showroom in Kolkata. Reuters
The successful launch of Chandrayaan 2 is a significant step for India which is aiming to be a low cost space power (“India joins elite club, successfully lands a spacecraft on the Moon”, July 22, Gulf Today).
It has been a long wait for India considering that the first moon landing was in 2008, but it is nonetheless historic for the Indian Space Research Organisation, because it is the first time that an indigenously developed rover, Pragyan, is in space. In a way we have to thank the Russian space agency for this. This mission was to take place four years ago but Roscosmos, the Russian agency which was to supply the rover, failed to do so. Now we have our own rover on Chandrayaan 2. By doing so India has sent a strong signal that nothing can stop us from meeting our goals.
Should the soft landing happen on September 6, we will be among the world’s top four nations to do so. It will also be the first space mission to conduct a soft landing on the Moon’s south polar region, which holds maximum promise for the presence of water as well as of fossil footprints.
While we aim for the skies, India has been drawing flak over a host of issues on the ground. From rapes to mob lynching, to unemployment, the issues are plenty. Many critics are lashing out at the government that it should pay more attention to the people’s woes than look at the skies for accolades. I feel both these aspects need attention.
India’s space ambitions are noteworthy and we need to give credit where it is due. Indian scientists need to be lauded for their work. Great going, India.