"In November, India took the next step in their space program by launching their Mangalyaan Mars orbiter. The orbiter won't arrive for a while yet, but they've managed to get some public attention for a different reason: the fact that the entire mission costs only 75 million dollars, substantially less than the budget for the hit movie 'Gravity.'
While the question of wages is bound to come up (it was only 15% of the budget of the project), I think we can all agree that bringing down the cost of interplanetary space travel to a level attainable by the ultra-rich is a good step forward."
I keep hoping for a new space race, but if even China doesn't cause a reaction, I'm not sure what will.
When will I be bombarded with ads for space vacation?
>> bombarded with ads for space vacation
Spam in a tube?
Yes, a new space race would be good. But I think the next big space race will be privately funded. NASA and other agencies created the tech, now private companies can run with it. Dawn of a new era? I hope so.
As for the cost, I think the headline is a bit sensationalistic. Gravity made in India wouldn't of cost Gravitys budget.
(offtopic) Good job on the new site. I tried Beta, I hated the page filling pictures, immense white spaces and especiallyreading comments thatgot more difficultto read with everyreply.
I prefer cooperation to competition.
As to TFS, Gravity may have been more expensive but it paid off in spades. Lets hope India's orbiter does, as well.
OTOH 2001: A Space Odyssey cost less than the orbiter (although I can't find the figures) and was initially a box office flop.
You'll see the ads when Virgin Galactic finishes tests and goes online. I wish I had a spare $200k.
To be fair, it was international competition and politics, not cooperation, that got people into space and landed them on the moon. Obviously you need some level of cooperation within a large enough entity to make it work (e.g. large contractors within the US building different parts of the project), and cooperation has resulted in things like the ISS, but competitive tribalism drives people emotionally in a way cooperation can't.
Well, yes, competetion got us to the moon, but cooperation got us a big permanent space station. How long did MIR last?
Mir lasted 10 years, Skylab just over 6 years.
The ISS is not "permanent", it was only recently that they announced discussions and funding to keep it up and running past 2020 [space.com].
In any event, the longevity of the ISS that in no way negates the idea that competition between peers did and can do a lot in a much shorter period of time.