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India spent 615 crores on Chandrayaan 3. But why?
“Why is India spending so much money on going to the moon, when we have so much poverty around?”
This is a question in the minds of a lot of people. After all, the Chandrayaan 3 mission cost Rs. 615 crores.
Now that it landed on the moon, I thought of writing about how and why space programs help countries.
First, let's get one thing clear: No space program has any immediate short-term benefits. They're created keeping the long term in mind. And when we say long term, it could be as long as half a century.
Second, like I said, the cost for the entire Chandrayaan 3 mission was Rs. 615 crores. For context, Russia's Luna 25, which crashed on the moon's surface last week, cost Rs. 1,600 crores. SpaceX's "Starship" program this year will cost Rs. 4,000 crores.
The Bhagalpur bridge that collapsed in Bihar last month, cost Rs. 1,716 crores.
Adipurush, a movie starring Prabhas and Saif Ali Khan (which did poorly) was made on a budget of Rs. 700 crores.
So Chandrayaan's cost, while looks a lot on the face of it, was actually really low compared to projects of such magnitude. Even lower than the budget for a lot of movies.
Now, why does a project like Chandrayaan benefit us?
Space exploration by any country is one of the biggest ways to determine how innovative and visionary that country is. And being only the fourth country (after US, Russia and China - all superpowers) to land on the moon, it just puts us on the map with the biggies
2. A boost to manufacturing and investments
With Chandrayaan 3's landing, India has proved that it has the technology to be able to land on the south pole of the moon - a region where even a country like Russia couldn't make it. This shows superior technology, which can not just boost the "Make in India" campaign, but also give more confidence to international investors for investing in India.
There are 140 space-tech startups registered in India, and they'll definitely be getting more than a few investor calls this week 😉
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Now, going forward..
3. Water and Helium
The moon has elements which can be used back here. For example, helium-3 (an isotope of the element helium) is abundant on the moon, but rare on Earth. It is a potential fuel for nuclear fusion, a potentially unlimited and non-polluting source of energy. China, in particular, has stated a strong interest in lunar helium-3.
Chandrayaan - 1, in 2008, had also found evidence of water-based ice on the moon. If present in sufficient quantities, water ice on the Moon could be used as a resource for generating fuel or supporting human habitation. This would also be a major advantage for future missions considering the cost of carrying water from the Earth to the Moon.
You see, launching missions to the moon is not just about getting a direct ROI. It’s about exploration and planning for the future.
And in the process, it sets the stage for showcasing India as a superpower, putting us on the global map.
A big salute to ISRO for making this happen!
If you liked this piece, why don’t you share it with your friends and tell them how India’s success with Chandrayaan 3 helps in more ways than one?
See you next time…