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Research paper – India’s space program The potential of states to secure their position in the international community has been related to specific strategies: emphasizing to space missions is an example. However, the particular strategy cannot be employed by all governments mostly due to the high costs involved…
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Download file to see previous pages India’s involvement in space programs can be traced at the beginning of 1960s. Actually, it was just in 1962 that the authority that would control the relevant science projects established in India: reference is made to the ‘Indian National Committee for Space Research’ (Moltz 114). Since then, the country’s missions to space have been related to a particular target: to secure the social and economic environment of the country (Sadeh 303). More specifically, the space program of India has been based on ‘the needs of man and society’ (Moltz 114). However, if reviewed carefully, the particular program is proved as being far from its initial mission. One of the most important issues that should be taken into consideration when developing a space program is the program’s financing needs. In the case of India, this rule had not been followed. According to Sadeh (11) the gaps between the estimated cost of a space program and its final cost is a common problem in the specific sector. For this reason, the government of a country involved in such project needs to locate in advance potential sources of funds that could be used when the project would exceed its budget (Sadeh 11). In the case study it is explained that the cost of the whole project reached the level of $70m (page study, p.1), an amount that it is considered as extremely high if taking into consideration the current status of Indian economy. The review of the historical development of India’s space program shows that there has been no provision for covering extra costs during the project’s life cycle (Sadeh 303). On the other hand, the threat from neigbouring countries, especially of China, is often used as an argument for justifying India’s space program (Harding 107). According to the case study, India’s mission to Mars has been decided not so much for gathering information in regard to the planet’s ground and environment but mostly in order to verify the country’s technological advances especially compared to its key rival, i.e. China (page study, p.1). Of course, the potential use of space technology for securing the country’s safety in terms of national security cannot be ignored. However, such target would be in opposition with the program’s initial mission, i.e. to respond to the needs of the country’s social and economic environment (Sadeh 303). In other words, a contradiction appears between the targets on which the establishment of the program was based and the targets that appear today as the program’s priorities, such as the increase of India’s military strength towards its rivals, or the improvement of the country’s position in geo-political terms. The inappropriateness of India’s space mission, at least in regard to the current period of time, is also proved through the following facts: A) The status of India’s current infrastructure seems to be quite low. In fact, it was a few days before the mission to Mars that due to severe damages the country’s power supply units stopped their operations; even if the problem caused by the weather the extension of the damage, about 825 electric poles had to be replaced, reveals the weakness of the country in maintaining its vital infrastructure (Salomi 2013). At this point, the following question appears: how the country could support a mission to space while facing such problems in regard to its energy infrastructure is a question that cannot be easily ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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