MOM “a thousand times better than cricket”

This is how the Indian Prime Minister responded to the success of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) yesterday:

“History has been created by our scientists”, said PM Narendra Modi in his speech immediately after the scientists declared the mission a success. “We have dared to reach out to the unknown.”

“When our cricketers win a tournament, we celebrate in a big way. What these scientists have achieved is thousand times bigger,” he added.


It’s certainly a great achievement – India managed a succesful Mars orbit introduction with the first spacecraft they sent to Mars. We can measures ts success against the fact that more than half the world’s previous attempts – 23 out of 41 Mars missions – have failed, including attempts by Japan in 1999 and China in 2011.

The Indian Mar’s Orbiter arrived in Mar’s orbit just a few days after the US Maven orbiter. Both orbiters have similar tasks. MOM’s scientific goals including using five solar-powered instruments to gather data that will help determine how Martian weather systems work and what happened to the water that is believed to have once existed on Mars in large quantities. It will also search Mars for methane, a key chemical in life processes on Earth that could also come from geological processes.

The BBC described the cost of MOM as “staggeringly cheap”  by Western standards. The US Maven orbiter is costing almost 10 times as much. This bodes well for the future of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) – especially for launches of commercial satellites for overseas countries and companies.

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scientists and engineers monitor the movements of India’s Mars orbiter at their Spacecraft Control Center in the southern Indian city of Bangalore (Credit: Reuters / Stringer)

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5 responses to “MOM “a thousand times better than cricket”

  1. Unmanned missions are so cheap and effective that the question must be asked: do we really need to send humans into space any more?


  2. … or fuzzy satellite photos of combine harvesters…

    (I have to ask. It’s just too wonderful.)

    Where are you getting this from? What’s your source?
    That whole article was very special but this one particular talking point just leapt out and screamed “Pick me, pick me.”


  3. Cedric, the video refers to the problem of the fuzzy satellite photos used by the U.S. state Department to back up their claims of an invasion by Russian Federation troops. The photo I referred to was one the U.S. claimed showed a number of artillery pieces lined up in a field. The trouble is, once someone on the Internet pointed out they looked more like combine harvesters than artillery (symmetrical positioning and lack of associated boxes of ammunition) it became a but of jokes by reporters. Even worse has been the use of photos of humanitarian aid convoys as “evidence” of an invasion by spokesmen of the Kiev regime.

    My point, really, was that we should reserve the word “invasion” for real invasions which are so obvious it is not necessary to manufacture such “evidence.” And a journal as respectable as The NZ Listener should not be using “the whole world knows” in place of real evidence.



  4. Why are the comments closed for following post?


  5. Thanks Richard. My mistake. I will fix it.


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