Our Diwali celebrations have been enhanced manifold with the successful launch of the Mars Orbiter. November 5, 2013 will surely be remembered as a red letter day in ISRO’s illustrious history. Let us all wish and pray that the mission is accomplished without any hitch.

Shahabuddin Nadeem,

Bangalore

The successful launch of the Mars Orbiter mission is an outstanding achievement and a step in the right direction. Scientists and engineers of ISRO should be congratulated on completing the project at record speed and budget.

Geethu Issac,

Thiruvananthapuram

At a time when we read and hear only bad news of political blame game, charges and counter-charges of corruption and exploitation of the weaker sections of society, the news of the successful launch of the PSLV carrying a satellite to the red planet is soothing and encouraging. We hope and pray that the various milestones of the mission will be accomplished proving to the world that although we may lag behind in many social and economic standards, we are next to none in scientific talent.

C.K. Saseendran,

Bangalore

This refers to the letter that a person should not apply oil to his moustache when there is no grain in the house (Nov. 5). Had ISRO not undertaken the Mars mission, would food grains have been distributed to all the needy? Tamil poet Avvayar said: … pichai puginum karkai nandre — one should pursue learning even if he begs to meet his needs. Poverty should not be a hindrance to enlightenment.

G. Sridharan,

New Delhi

The criticism of the Mars Mission is unwarranted. We have just spent crores this Diwali on rockets. Can’t we spend Rs. 460 crore on a real rocket? The quest to understand space in India is as old as the Vedas. ISRO has revived the legacy by investing in and inventing advanced technology to explore space. The Mars Mission is not a show-off, but a step towards understanding the universe — a small step, but promising.

Ikbal Ahmed,

Delhi

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