Welcome India’s lunar programme

In: Uncategorized

26 Oct 2008

India’s lunar programme should be welcomed. India is sending an unmanned space probe to the moon and in the course of it explore the possibility of bringing helium 3 – the ideal fuel for nuclear fusion – back to earth.

It was inevitable that many would sneer at such a mission when India is still mired in poverty. But it is wrong to counter-pose missions such as India’s space programme with economic development. On the contrary, the same bold ambitious attitude is required of both.

Randeep Ramesh, the Guardian’s south Asia correspondent, claims he is not against the mission in principle but sees it as precocious:

“India is a nation with a proliferating development needs – the global hunger index ranks it below Laos and Burkina Faso. Hundreds of millions of Indians still openly defecate in fields, at roadsides and beside train tracks. Common tropical diseases easily overwhelm the country’s poorly-funded public health system. Its roads, railways and airports all need money and managerial overhauls.”

He misses the point that looking to the stars cultivates the right attitude to solve problems on earth too.

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