October 12, 2021 2:31:18 pm
India has assumed a leading role in the space race, emerging as an independent presence, but not without conquering some unique challenges. The thrilling journey has been captured on India’s Space Odyssey, an original documentary from Discovery Plus.
Narrated by actor R Madhavan in the Hindi version, the documentary features experts from ISRO as well as its former chairman Dr G Madhavan Nair, besides researchers and space historians. The six-decade story of India’s space odyssey makes for an exciting script, taking the viewer from the pioneering days, powered by the dynamic duo Homi Jehangir Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai, to its current status as an influential global presence.
The documentary touches on the glorious highs, such as its journey to the Moon and Mars, as well as the lows. It’s a memorable moment when then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asks Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian to reach space in 1984, how the nation looks from above and he answers, “Saare Jahan Se Accha”. The lows include 2019’s Chandrayaan 2 and its failed moon mission, chronicling the heartbreak following “seven minutes of terror” as the satellite crash-lands on touchdown. India’s Space Odyssey also takes care to comment on the behind-the-scenes volatile political scenarios, conspiracy theories and human interest stories that effectively power the fast-paced narrative.
It’s a must-watch for every Indian, who is bound to feel pride at the sheer inventiveness and persistence of India’s scientists, right from Sarabhai requesting a pastor in Kerala, to lend the now historic church grounds in Thumba for testing grounds, to having to ferry rocket instruments in bullock-carts.
As the narrator points out, India’s space programme is unique, with no parallel in the world, overcoming adversity with limited resources. Necessity has truly been the mother of invention as India was forced to think on its feet after being isolated in the global arena several times in its history. India’s Space Odyssey charts India’s victories, namely the Chandraayan and Mangalyaan missions.
It ends by giving viewers a glimpse of the future, as India currently accounts for three percent — and growing — of the global space tech industry, poised to offer international expertise for launch vehicles, satellites and satellite-based applications to the world. Watch India’s Space Odyssey on Discovery Plus to see how India has emerged as a global space superpower.
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