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Experts hail 'Mangalyaan' launch, say it's time to take broader view

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Despite criticism about the mission, the successful launch of 'Mangalyaan' on Tuesday saw the scientific community in the country hailing the milestone achieved by ISRO.

Lauding the successful launch, experts said India now needed to take a "broader" view of space science.

"A country like India needs to take a broader view. We have stations in Antarctica, so we must have a finger in all frontiers... Not just for utility purposes but for other spinoffs like motivating youth and creating a good market for Indian space products," said BG Siddarth, Director of Birla Planetarium, when asked what the Mars Mission could achieve at a cost of Rs 450 crore.

Justifying the Rs 450 crore bill, Siddarth said, "India has to look at the future, not at just the immediate present... In any case, we are squandering many times that amount on all sorts of useless things. This is not even peanuts compared to what we are squandering."

Meanwhile, other scientists questioned the criticism of the space mission and said that when Indians could spend thousands of crores on Diwali crackers, why are they crying against the Mars orbiter.

"Why are Indians shouting about the Rs 450-500 crore spent on this (the mission). It certainly is the biggest day for India. Indians do not have difficulty in spending crores on Diwali firecrackers but... why are they shouting," said UR Rao, Chairman of the Governing Council of the Physical Research Laboratory.

Former ISRO Chairman K Kasturirangan said that the mission would boost India's credentials to join future collaborative international deep-space missions.

"I think it's a very major, key milestone for ISRO to push the frontiers of research in space science to the deeper reaches of the Solar System," Kasturirangan said.

"In a sense, it will address all the problems that ultimately one has to overcome while taking up future deep-space missions, not only to Mars but to other planets of the Solar System," he added.

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