[op-ed snap] ISRO’s Moon mission presents India a chance to reassess its space priorities

Mains Paper 3 : Awareness In The Fields Of It, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Space industry and the future goals


CONTEXT

Vikram lander appears to have made a hard-landing because of which ISRO is not able to establish any contact so far. 

Past experience

There have been occasions in the past when declared “dead” satellites/space probes have suddenly come alive. NASA’s IMAGE satellite launched in early 2000 stopped transmitting in late 2005 and was declared dead. NASA declared this satellite alive again in 2018.

ISRO – What lies ahead

  • With various successes in the domain of space, ISRO has raised the stature of the country internationally.
  • India should make an assessment of the technical resources and expertise available with ISRO to carry forward a major space programme. 
  • It is important to factor in the nature of the private space industry to support a space programme of this size. 
  • International collaborations have become an important element in the present times. 
  • Going to the Moon and Mars is important for multiple reasons, including the quest for minerals and energy security (Helium 3). 
  • India should avoid getting swayed by the “Space Race”.
  • Space should emerge as an important constituent of foreign policy. Missions to the Moon and Mars offer India opportunities for bilateral or multilateral collaboration. Such collaborations could allow technology sharing and they could also prove to be more cost-effective and time-saving.
  • India needs to make more investments in its strategic programme: Efforts made to conduct an ASAT (anti-satellite test) should be capitalised upon. Today, the armed forces require many more satellites for various purposes. There is a need to evolve a separate agency for this purpose.

CONCLUSION

Investments in this domain should be done only for social reasons, for science and for security. If India has to emerge as a space power, then it should be via a combination of soft and hard power. Missions like the ones to the Moon offer such opportunities.

ISRO Missions and Discoveries
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