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India’s historic Moon landing took lesser amount than to make Interstellar

August 28, 2023: India’s historic Moon landing took lesser amount than to make Interstellar.

Even in the modern era, the track record still needs to be better with nine lunar landing attempts since 2013. Before India’s success Wednesday, missions by China, India, Japan, and Russia were three for eight in the past decade.

McDowell’s database showcases the monumental challenge of the 50 attempts to land on the moon, with a cheeky scoreboard reading Earthlings 23, Gravity 27.

India choked up its first W against Gravity on Wednesday after the country’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft safely landed on the lunar surface. The feat makes India the fourth country to land on the moon successfully and the first to touch down near the lunar south pole.

The most remarkable aspect of India’s moon landing is the shoestring budget with which the country achieved the mission. In 2020, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) estimated the Chandrayaan-3 mission would cost about $75 million. The launch was delayed two years, likely increasing the overall mission’s cost.

But that rivals the lowest-cost lunar lander missions in development in the U.S. NASA, in recent years, turned to having companies compete for fixed-price contracts to build moon landers under a program it calls Commercial Lunar Payload Services. The CLPS program has a maximum budget of $2.6 billion over ten years, with 14 companies vying for mission contracts typically worth upwards of $70 million each.

Overall, NASA’s annual budget dwarfs that of its Indian counterpart. In 2023, the U.S. agency received $25.4 billion in funding, compared to the ISRO’s budget of about $1.6 billion. Bridenstine stressed that NASA’s much more significant budget reflects the “different level of capability” that the U.S. agency offers, with everything from a continuous astronaut presence in orbit to tasks targeting planets, asteroids, and more.

The U.S. spends the most on space as a percentage of gross domestic product, although it still amounts to just 0.28% of GDP. That ranks well ahead of India’s 0.04% of GDP, according to the Space Foundation’s July report on the global space economy.

“India should have in its ambitions they want to invest more and more and develop the abilities that are more on par with the United States,” Bridenstine said.

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India’s historic Moon landing took lesser amount than to make Interstellar