Are Martians Partial to Lamb Vindaloo?

They should be, because it is delicious. Perhaps we will find out next year.

Recently India launched a Indian space  mission to the Red Planet. Hailed as a crowning achievement in the sciences for India, it is not without controversy.

India sent a satellite to probe Mars by the fall of 2014. Only four space agencies have done so, the U.S., Russia, and a European consortium. More than half of the world’s ventures to Mars have failed.

India’s mission, if successful would be quite an accomplishment.

Some question the government spending money on space exploration when they have many pressing problems at home. Huge, depressing issues like child malnutrition, rampant corruption and others steal attention away from positive Indian developments. Space research is important to the country and the globe, as R & D for space programs gave humanity the cell phone, GPS and laser technology among others. Our lives would be vastly different without programs like NASA.

Yes, India has millions in poverty, but it is playing a larger role on the world stage, generating increased respect from international players, especially vis-a-vis China. India demonstrates this forward thinking about its emerging power by investing in its space initiative.

In the calendar year of 2013, India developed its first aircraft carrier, and now has the world scientific community closely watching its every move. India has glaring discrepancies between the uber-wealthy and poor, but that does not mean spending money for space exploration is foolish. In my mind it is not mutually exclusive to both care about humanitarian issues and advocate for space exploration. Rather, it is a sign of India’s continued growth, emblematic of the balancing act of making policies and creating programs in all spheres of life — technological, military, social, economic and political.

A constant stream of depressing news flows from India, but I’d bet the average Indian is happy not reading negative stories, as the Indian media focuses their attention on this momentous occasion.

For now, Indians can hang our hats on this feat, wishing it every success. Today is a proud day for India. Jai Hind!

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