By now all of us have heard that India has sent a spacecraft to Mars.

Actually the mission actually began on 24th September, 2013 when the spacecraft called Mangalyaan was launched by the Indian Space Organization. Just a few days ago, the Mars Orbiter Mission as it is called was successful and returned back pictures of the red planet’s surface.

The Mangalyaan has five instruments that it has taken with it that will provide more particular details about Mars to the Indians.

Why is India Sending a Craft to Mars?

One is forced to think and ask why?

India is a country that has a huge divide between the rich and the poor. The gap is so huge that on one end there is a person who is among the richest on the planet and then there are those who start and end their lives in the sewers and slums!

So why would a country so poor neglect its own people and go for something that doesn’t apparently have any real benefit to them in the near future.

Well, like I said ‘apparently’ there is no benefit. But if you look closely, there is a huge edge that this trip will give the Indians in the field of science and technology, especially rocketry.

This mission is basically a test and demonstration of the Indians’ scientific prowess.

Let me explain…. When India tested its nuclear devices in the 90’s, Pakistan followed suit within a week or so. This clearly indicates that Pakistan had the capability to explode a device but the test was necessary because it then provided a truck load of data that must have helped in various other fields and also in refining the nuclear capability.

It is the same with the Indian Mars mission. Unless they are planning to send a Marawari to set up a chai shop on Mars for the International Mars Mission, the purpose is not just getting the spacecraft to Mars but to take advantage of the learning and research during the mission.

So What?!

As Pakistani’s we should take this as a big deal. The Indian Mars mission clearly shows that they are ahead of us in terms of science and technology. This is very worrying because India is, after all our biggest threat.

It was the same situation with our nuclear program. After India had tested its first nuclear device in the 70’s, Pakistan kick started its program and it took us till 1998 to carry out our own tests.

I am sure the think tanks in our corridors of power are analyzing this and maybe trying to do something similar, but it is high time we take initiatives instead of always being reactive otherwise the repercussions could be disastrous.