January 20 , 2015
Achievements in aerospace have marched ahead in India while aeronautics is still plagued by bureaucratic inertia, writes Brijesh D. Jayal
Perhaps nothing summarizes the Indian Space Research Organization's achievement more succinctly than a report in the New York Times under the banner, "On a Shoestring, India Sends Orbiter to Mars On Its First Try".
It is befitting that during those nail-biting final moments of suspense on Wednesday morning, when the Mangalyaan was in the shadow of Mars and out of communication with its control centre, and when none knew whether it would emerge captured in Martian orbit or career uncontrollably into the deep space beyond, the prime minister of India was at hand to lend personal and moral support.
So palpable was the tense atmosphere within the mission control room at the ISRO headquarters in Bangalore that it seemed to hypnotize millions of ordinary citizens, who were glued to their television screens. When success came it was almost as if the entire nation had risen in a spontaneous cheer to mark not just the success of the mission, but to applaud the very professional culture of Isro and those within its fold.