India's Mars Mission 'A Symbolic Coup' Against China: U.S. Media

The popular National Public Radio (NPR) wrote as to why the India's Mars mission is cheaper than that of the NASA.

One reason could be the salary of its engineers and scientists, it said.

While the mean annual income for an aeronautical engineer in the United States is just under $105,000, the higher end scale for Indian engineers is less than $20,000.

"I think labour is the biggest factor, as well as the complexity of the mission. It takes a whole team of engineers," David Alexander, director of the Rice Space Institute told NPR.

According to Alexander, it appears that India's main goal is just getting to Mars, and so the probe is carrying "relatively simple" and therefore not-so-expensive instrumentation.

"What the Indians want to know is: Will it survive? And will it get into orbit? I think the hope is that even if it fails, they are going to learn something," he said.

Another expert Professor Russell Boyce of the Australian Academy of Science, chairman of the National Committee for Space and Radio Science, said any scientific gains from the mission are unlikely to prove earth-shattering.

"It would be a modest scientific gain that's attempted in the first instance, to demonstrate the capability," he told the CNN.

Source: PTI