On November 5, 2013, a rocket launched toward Mars. It was India’s first interplanetary mission, Mangalyaan, and a terrific gamble. Only 40 percent of missions sent to Mars by major space organizations — NASA, Russia’s, Japan’s, or China’s — had ever been a success. No space organization had entered Mars’s orbit on its first attempt. What’s more, India’s space organization, ISRO, had very little funding: while NASA’s Mars probe, Maven, cost $651 million, the budget for this mission was $74 million. In comparison, the budget for the movie “The Martian” was $108 million. Oh, and ISRO sent off its rocket only 18 months since work on it began.
This was obviously going to catch my eye. A team of all women working for the Indian Space Organization (ISRO) just successfully placed a satellite into orbit around Mars. Its hard to overstate how astonishing this accomplishment is; how short 18 months are; and how absurd it is to pull this off on less than half of Trump's income for 2005. In fact, if we assume Trump paid a similar amount in taxes the following year, his taxes over 2 years alone could've funded this entire mission.
While this particular team was completely composed of women, the ISRO as a whole is now staffed by 25% women. Truly an inspirational story for just so many reasons. This is the second time I've posted about India leading the way on progressive social issues. This is the second time haven't seen a single major news network discuss the story.