After the low-cost airline, here’s low-cost conquest of space. This is how, to the regret of the Indian government however proud of the controlled cost of its space program, the press described the success of India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) for a cost of only EUR 53 million, that is five times less than Europe’s Mars Express and ten times less than USA’s mission Maven.
India’s mission was started by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in August 2012 after the Chinese and Japanese failures, then the Mangalyaan probe was sent to Mars in December 2013 and after a journey of 10 months and 680 million miles, it will now measure the methane content of the Martian atmosphere, the Indian space agency (ISRO) said.
Unlike China, which used a Russian rocket launcher, every MOM’s components were entirely made in India. In 3 years, India has become the first Asian country to reach Mars. Only the United States, Russia and Europe preceded her. Analysts are now evaluating the commercial benefits of such a success, especially for the exports of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., India’s largest state-owned defense and aerospace company.