If you haven’t heard by now, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched a scale-model shuttle 43 miles above Earth to test its ability to withstand the shear amount of heat generated upon re-entry.
India has joined the race to develop low-cost, reusable manned-crew shuttles alongside the likes of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Amazon owner Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin. However, it may be years before they get an actual working shuttle in place.
While many were happy to see India joining the space age era, the cost to launch the Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) had many questioning the country’s leaders’ priorities. Various tech and science blogs were littered with comments asking why the government bothered with the space project when there were more important issues to deal with like providing food and clean drinking water to the poor.
Other comments were much more degrading, going well past the borders of racism. Even the crappy tech blog, Gizmodo, came up with their own disparaging title “India Just Launched an Adorable Mini Shuttle Into Space”.
With that in mind, science blog, I Fucking Love Science, put together an infographic highlighting how relatively cheap the shuttle test was compared to other more minor events.
Include the cost of an A320neo really wasn’t the best comparison as each aircraft may transport millions of passengers in its lifetime, but its easy to see how money was wasted on other trivial events.
Celebrity icon, Kim Kardashian spent more than double the shuttle’s launch on a wedding that no one with a life really cared about. The Angry Birds movie, which only garnered an average of 6.5 stars out of 10 cost more than 5 times as much as the shuttle launch.
Skipping to the end, $122 million was poured into what turned out to be a very horrible Fantastic 4 movie which aired last year.
No one is saying India’s situation is perfect, but it still goes to show that money can be badly spent anywhere we go across the globe.