News / Science & Technology

    India Launches Satellites, Highlights Low Cost

    India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, carrying five satellites, lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, north of the southern Indian city of Chennai, June 30, 2014.
    India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, carrying five satellites, lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, north of the southern Indian city of Chennai, June 30, 2014.
    Anjana Pasricha

    India took another step Monday in its ambitions to tap the commercial potential of its space program by launching satellites for four other nations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi commended the country’s space program as the world's most cost effective.
     
    India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle blasted off Monday morning from the eastern port of Sriharikota carrying a 714-kilogram French Earth observation satellite and four smaller satellites.
     
    Prime Minister Modi, who witnessed the launch, pointed out that all five satellites put into orbit were from advanced countries.
     
    “Even today’s satellites are all from developed nations - France, Canada, Germany and Singapore. Truly this is a global endorsement of India’s space capabilities,” said Modi.
     
    The launch marked another milestone in India’s efforts to grab a larger slice of the lucrative global satellite launch market.
     
    Focusing attention on the frugality of India’s space program, Modi said India has the potential to become the world's satellite launch service provider.  
     
    He pointed to reports that the $100 million spent on making the Hollywood movie “Galaxy” exceeded the cost of a spacecraft India sent to Mars last November.
     
    “Even today our program stands out as the most cost-effective in the world… Our scientists have shown the world a new paradigm of frugal engineering and the power of imagination,” said Modi.

    India’s Mars program has won attention for its modest $73 million price tag. That is just over one-tenth of the money spent by NASA on a Mars mission it launched days after the Indian one.
     
    Indian scientists say frugality has always been the goal of a space mission whose annual outlay is just $1 billion - a fraction of space programs in major space-faring nations such as Russia and the United States. This is the advantage India hopes to leverage in the commercial launch business.
     
    Modi also sought to leverage India’s space program to give a further push to his diplomatic offensive in the South Asian region.
     
    He called on Indian scientists to use their expertise in satellite technology to help all eight countries in the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation, known as SAARC.
     
    "Today, I ask our space community, to take up the challenge, of developing a SAARC satellite - that we can dedicate to our neighborhood, as a gift from India. A satellite, that provides a full range of applications and services, to all our neighbors,” Modi said.
     
    India has faced some criticism that a poor country should have more pressing priorities than launching satellites such as supplying clean water and toilets to its people. But Modi says that the country’s space program is making a huge contribution to the common man through its applications in areas such as disaster and resource management.

    You May Like

    Can EU Survive a Brexit?

    Across Europe politicians are asking if the British vote to leave the European Union will set in motion dynamics that will see other member states leave too

    Video Entrepreneurs at Global Summit Tackle Range of Challenges

    Innovators strive to halt sexual harassment in India, improve rural health in Myanmar, build businesses in Africa

    Key African Anti-Venom About to Permanently Run Out

    The tale of Fav-Afrique’s demise is a complicated one that reflects a deeper crisis brewing in global public health

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Marketsi
    X
    June 24, 2016 10:43 AM
    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Markets

    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.
    Video

    Video During Ramadan, Faith and Football Converge in Lebanon’s Megadome

    In Beirut, a group of young entrepreneurs has combined its Muslim faith and love of football to create the city's newest landmark: a large, Ramadan-ready dome primed for one of the biggest football (soccer) tournaments in the world. But as the faithful embrace the communal spirit of Islam’s holy month, it is not just those breaking their fasts that are welcome.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora