Little known to the rest of the world is the strength of Indian space program. It has been one of those things that was built through sheer grit of the Indian scientists, one of the foremost being the current Indian President, Abdul Kalam. I still remember that US had put sanctions on India during the heydays of Pakistan-US friendship in 1980’s for the Afghan War and India was not going to get the technology for the solid fuel in the Indian rockets.. and Indian scientists had to dig in and start working on it to create the technology of their own. Good they did that. Because they did it cheaper than that of NASA. Ditto for the Super Computer. PARAM was much cheaper and much better in its day!
Here is the story on ISRO – the Energizer Bunny of the Space Programs
Operating on a fraction of NASA’s budget, the ISRO has turned itself into the Energizer Bunny of space programs – it just keeps launching and launching and launching. Since 1975, the agency has lofted 43 satellites into orbit, 20 of them from Indian soil. An extraordinary string of successes – 12 consecutive launches without a failure – has attracted European and Asian investors looking to capitalize on the growing demand for satellite communication and reconnaissance. A few big deals could turn the ISRO into a moneymaker, boosting India’s prestige and helping deflect criticism that the space agency’s rupees would be better spent alleviating the misery of roughly 300 million Indians who live below the poverty line.