This week 80 scientists from the whole country gathered to discuss whether India should take up manned mission to moon?
The verdict was very predictable. They voted for a manned mission to moon by 2020. It was agreed that India does have requisite technological capability tp undertake such mission. And we should not overlook other countries ambitious aspirations in these matters. The countries and their activities in focus were Chinese moon plans, Malaysian plan to send their astronaut in space & even pakistan's plans to send their astronaut in space.
We need not look at other countries and decide what we should be doing, rather we should have our own reasons to send a manned mission to moon. The Times of india recently in its editorial have taken critical view of the mission and have raised concerns over the proposed budget of 10 to 15 thousand crores. They feel that this money could be used for other fruitful purposes. The exploration of moon and other heavenly bodies can be done through unmanned or robotic missions. They feel that there is no need to send manned mission and the requisite purpose could be served through unmanned missioons.
We should never overlook the fact that all the major breakthoughs in technology have been the result of the research & development in defence industry and then it has spilled over to the civilian sectors. Then there was report last week detailing that if all the people maintain the lifestyle of the developed nations then even resources of three such worlds would not be enough. In such conditions and compelling reasons, we really do need to upgrade ourselves technologically to confront such situations. We should be ready to satisfy the demands of all the individuals.
India does require a manned mission to moon. Though we assert that we have requisite technology to achieve that but the fact remains that this mission will have lot of other benefits also. Already many of the companies in the developed nations are talking about the space tourism. We need to look at that sector also. The development of our PSLV (polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) also helped the development of our long range missiles. America in its outlook on space technology has offically said that they will restrict the access of space to thse countries which pose security threat to them.
Gievn the above reasons and the conditions of the world, we do need such technologically ambitious missions to equip ourselves. We need to look 15, 20 years in the furture to make decisions and we shoudl not be shortsighted whilst taking such decision. Such mission will give us edge over others and benefits of these will accrue to other also.
already there is huge market for components used in space and related technologies. We also need to tap those markets. This is going to be potentially the gold mine and new fastest growing industry.
Hope we are not left behind in atleast this race......