The textbook precision with which ISRO launched its ambitious Mars Mission on Tuesday excited the science fraternity in Mangalore with the Director of Regional Science Centre finding half a dozen reasons to congratulate the space scientists.

Dr. K.V. Rao told The Hindu over phone that “today, I am very proud (as an Indian)”. He said ISRO had showed India’s capability to the world. He was particularly happy that this comes on the back of Indian scientists proving US experts wrong in precise estimation of the speed of cyclone Phailin, he recalled.

Describing it as “good mission” Coordinator of the Department of Geoinformatics in Mangalore University B.R. Raghavan said his department was coordinating with the Space Application Centre of ISRO in Ahmedabad for research. The department, which was hitherto focusing on the study of oceans, was slowly moving towards research on space. “There is interest again now (in Mars),” he said.

He said the study of geomorphology of Mars was very important as “we do not know much about it. We do not know whether there is water on it or not”.

Associate Professor of Chemistry at St. Agnes College H. Jayantha who frequently conducts sessions for general public on eclipses, said he would dedicate some of the future sessions to share information about Mars with Mangaloreans. During the course of the mission’s journey expected to be completed by September next year, there would be a lot talk about the planet. He however maintained that the interest in the planet for now was more of academic than being of immediate use for mankind.

Mr. Raghavan and Dr. Rao believe that the Mars mission will kindle interest in science among youth.

Dismissing the suggestion that the expenditure of Rs. 450 crore on the mission was too much for India, he said the nation should in fact now think of further explorations of the space.

“We have to develop this technology. There is no choice. You cannot buy it (in the market),” he said. ISRO achieved this within minimum budget taking little time, he added.

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