Frugal Engineering from India is a success

Despite its modest overall achievements, India's Mars Orbiter Mission is one of the more notable successes of the modern spaceflight era. Launched in 2013, it was the first Mars mission built by an Asian country to reach orbit around the red planet—only the United States, Soviet Union, and European Space Agency had done so before.

And perhaps most importantly, India proved that a durable, capable Mars spacecraft could be developed on a shoestring budget. Instead of costing hundreds of millions of dollars, the Mars mission was developed for only about $25 million, through a process described by Indian officials as "frugal engineering."

But all good things come to an end, and this weekend the Indian space agency, ISRO, announced that the mission was "non-recoverable." The update came following a one-day meeting to discuss the spacecraft and whether it could be salvaged after communication was lost with the vehicle in April during a long eclipse when Mars moved between the orbiter and the Sun.

"During the national meet, ISRO deliberated that the propellant must have been exhausted, and therefore, the desired attitude pointing could not be achieved for sustained power generation," the space agency said in an update posted Monday. "It was declared that the spacecraft is non-recoverable, and attended its end-of-life. The mission will be ever-regarded as a remarkable technological and scientific feat in the history of planetary exploration." ... more-fuel/

There's quite a bit more interesting stuff at the link. I like that humans are doing this. All kinds of new companies around the world launching. It's a two edged spatula, though, as what goes up must come down. We're not so good a precise de-orbits yet. These are the days of miracle and wonder.

Nothing's for certain--it could always go wrong.
Come in when it's raining; go on out when it's gone.

Re: Frugal Engineering from India is a success

Good for India, they are starting to assert themselves on the international stage in the technology field. India and China are the two largest Asian countries, but India is a democracy for the most part, while China is a one party dictatorship. People can talk about all the negatives of British rule or Raj India and there are many, but there are also many positives. Britain standardized English as the language of their administration in a country with multiple languages, English is now THE international language.

It's also the main language in the many educational institutions the British founded in India starting in 1818 including the Indian Institute of Technology (1847), it's the tech powerhouse of India like our Cal Tech and MIT. There are many engineers in the US trained at IIT. Many Indians and Pakistanis were also educated in Britain in addition to the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa... People forget that Mohandas K. Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) was born in South Africa and trained as a lawyer at Cambridge University in England.
Last edited by highdesert on Tue Oct 04, 2022 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: Frugal Engineering from India is a success

This is great. But we can also keep in mind that India possibly had the advantage of previous experience of other space agencies who arguably did the heavy lifting of pioneering space-flight.

The Chinese are famous for reverse-engineering tech and producing them cheaper if not as durable. Indians are famous for working as engineers and doctors all over the world. Repatriating all that work experience will be invaluable for lifting their country out of poverty and into the space age in this decade.
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

Re: Frugal Engineering from India is a success

You're right Bisbee about Indian engineers and physicians, there are a lot in the US. My primary physician is Indian and his wife is also a physician, both trained at Indian medical universities and they speak unaccented English. The down side for India, is that the country suffers from a brain drain, their professionals move to western countries for the high salaries. China and other Asian countries also suffer from a brain drain.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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